It started with a missed 3-pointer by Randy Foye. Then Marvin Williams fired from deep. He, too, was off the mark.
By the time the wreckage of a disastrous third quarter was cleared, only cold, hard realities remained for the Utah Jazz, who blew a 12-point first-half lead to lose 99-86 to Memphis on Saturday at EnergySolutions Arena.
The quarter, in which the Jazz shot just 3 of 20 and were outscored 28-10, was the Jazz’s undoing. It fueled their second home loss of the season in a year in which they have closely followed a script of losing dishearteningly on the road (which they did Friday at Phoenix, 99-84) and reversing course with a dramatic home victory shortly thereafter.
This game more closely followed the narrative of their one other home loss, a Dec. 3 defeat to the Clippers, when the Jazz wilted after building a 14-point lead.
“We can’t always rely on wining on home,” Paul Millsap said. “Sad to say, we can’t rely on that. We have to go on the road and win games.”
The Jazz (13-12) are 4-10 away from EnergySolutions Arena and play their next four on the road, starting Tuesday against Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets.
The Grizzlies entered Saturday’s game the losers of three in a row after opening the season with a 14-3 record, including a 103-94 win over the Jazz in Memphis on Nov. 5.
That, in part, was why the Jazz of the first half were so impressive. They were energetic and dynamic: Paul Millsap ran the lane to receive bounce passes from Mo Williams, Gordon Hayward confidently knocked down 3-pointers.
They were balanced, but knew to ride the hot hand.
Al Jefferson scored 10 points in a row at one point in the first quarter, giving the Jazz an 18-15 lead. In the second quarter, Hayward scored seven straight.
In the third, they were ghosts.
The Grizzlies tightened their defense on Al Jefferson, who managed a team-high 21 points despite scoring 14 in the first half. The Grizzlies outscored the Jazz 28-10, turning what appeared to be a morale-boosting victory into a second blowout loss in two nights.Next Page »