Grizzlies looking for a repeat of 2011 against the Jazz

Sports

Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale (23) battles with Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) for a loose ball during the first half of Game 1 of their NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

MEMPHIS — It is a shot no Grizzlies’ fan will ever forget.

Shane Battier’s dagger three against the San Antonio Spurs back in 2011 to help the underdog Grizzlies stun the top-seeded Spurs.

That was the last time the Grizzlies took game one in a 1 vs 8 match-up, and we all know how that one ended.

With the grizz knocking out the Spurs in six games.

The last time until Sunday night when the Grizzlies did it again.

Ten years later, the Next Gen Grizz went on the road and took down the top team in the NBA, the Utah jazz and former Grizzlies great Mike Conley to take a 1-0 series lead in this best of seven playoff opener.

There is a long way to go but something tells me these Grizzlies are up for the challenge after Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant took turns hitting big shot after big shot.

Brooks in the third quarter when he couldn’t miss.

Morant in the fourth when the game was on the line.

In the end, the Grizzlies young and talented backcourt combined for 57 points in the two highest scoring playoff debuts in grizz history.

Brooks with 31.

Morant with 26.

Even when the Jazz tried to intimidate the youthful Grizzlies…they lost at that too.

“They start trying to play the game we want to play.  Being physical.  Talking trash,” said Grizzlies guard Ja Morant.  “I felt like they started it and that’s what we wanted. I feel like when that happened, everybody was ready to go at that point.”

“When I get going and I get started, it’s just contagious,” said Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks. “You see guys doing just a little bit more.  That’s what I try to preach to the guys, just do a little bit more.”

As we wait for game two, maybe a bit of trouble within the ranks for the Jazz with reports that star guard Donovan Mitchell was incensed that he was a late scratch from Sunday’s opener with a bad ankle.

The All-Star guard has missed Utah’s last 17 games but did practice on Monday and vows to play in game two for the Jazz on Wednesday night.

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