SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Marc Gasol had 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and the Memphis Grizzlies held on for a dramatic 89-88 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night that strengthened their playoff positioning.
The Grizzlies closed the game on a 16-6 run, but had to wait out a few anxious moments at the end. Gasol was called for a foul on a 3-point attempt by Hayward with .01 seconds remaining. Hayward buried the first two free throws, but missed the third that likely would have forced overtime.
Memphis moved a game ahead of Houston in the race to win the Southwest Division and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Rockets lost 104-103 to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.
Beno Udrih started for the injured Mike Conley and had 20 points for Memphis on 9-for-13 shooting. Zach Randolph added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Gordon Hayward scored 27 points for Utah, and Rodney Hood continued his hot streak with 18. Rudy Gobert had his 22nd double-double of the season with 14 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.
Grizzlies: Mike Conley (foot sprain) and Tony Allen (hamstring strain) did not play. … The Grizzlies were tied at halftime despite shooting 52.6 percent from the field and having three fewer turnovers. … The teams split the four-game series.
Jazz: Reserves Bryce Cotton, Jack Cooley, Elijah Millsap and Jeremy Evans all saw early action throughout the first half. Cotton scored a career-high 11 points. … Trey Burke did not play due to a sore back.
CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH
The Jazz have been compared to the Grizzlies due to their sizable frontcourt with a pair of traditional bigs and an overall defensive mindset. Jazz coach Quin Snyder doesn’t mind the comparison, but knows his team has a long way to go to earn the comparison.
“I really respect what they’ve done … and the toughness that their team has,” Snyder said. “There’s a maturity that they have, obviously. Age-wise, we’re a lot of years behind them. … But the way that they’ve developed as a team, with an identity, first a defensive identity, a toughness.
“We’re not exactly the same, but I think some of the size that we have — I’d like to see us evolve into them. That would be pretty good.”
Grizzlies: At Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
Jazz: At Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.
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