Morant scores 47 in Grizzlies’ Game 2 loss to Jazz; series tied at 1-1

Sports

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) shoots as Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) battles with Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (17) during the first half of Game 2 of their NBA basketball first-round playoff series Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY — Ja Morant added his name to Grizzlies’ franchise lore Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.

Too bad it came in a loss to the Utah Jazz.

Morant scoring a career best 47. Not only the most points ever scored in a playoff game in Grizzlies’ history but the most points scored by any player, ever, to wear a Grizzlies’ uniform. The second year star guard scored 22 in the first half, 25 in the second but major foul trouble and a 22-point first half deficit, too much to overcome as the Jazz even up this best of seven series at a game apiece, 141-129.

“It’s obviously an amazing feat in his early career but he’ll talk about how he can’t wait to come back and get a win. That’s his focus. He’s driven to win,” said Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins on Morant’s performance.

Dillon Brooks, Jonas Valanciunas and Jaren Jackson Jr. were all whistled for three fouls…in the first half as Utah built that big lead. The Grizz would get within three late in the third quarter thanks to 23 from Brooks but the Jazz would hold on. Valanciunas finishing with 18 points, Jackson 16 as all five Grizzly starters scored in double figures.

Getting All-Star Donovan Mitchell back in the line-up, Utah was locked in from long range, hitting seven 3’s in the first quarter and going 19 for 39 from deep. The Jazz leading almost wire to wire thanks to 25 from Mitchell. Former Grizzly great Mike Conley added 20 points and 15 assists. Rudy Gobert with his own double double, 21 points and 13 rebounds.

This series now shifts to Memphis with games 3 and 4 at FedExForum over Memorial Day weekend.

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