Salt Lake City (USA), May 23 (EFE) .- The first-round playoff series between the Utah Jazz, the team with the best record in the league, and the Memphis Grizzlies could not have started more exciting and surprising , who had to reach the playoffs via the “controversial” play-in tournament, after the visitors prevailed 109-112.
Forward Dillon Brooks confirmed that every day he gets closer to the elite of the best players in the NBA and with 31 points and seven rebounds he was in charge of leading the great victory of the Grizzlies, who had four starters with double-digit numbers .
Without star guard Donovan Mitchell, who remains involved in the injury problem, on the field, the Jazz lacked the player who could define in the decisive moments as Brooks did and point guard Ja Morant, who finished with 26 points, four rebounds and four assists.
While the Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas also emerged a winning factor by doing a great job in the paint and in the fight with the French number five Rudy Gobert, the tall man of the Jazz.
Valanciunas finished with a double-double of 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and a block in the 39 minutes he was on the field.
While forward Kyle Anderson rounded out the list of four Grizzlies players with double-digit numbers by scoring 14 points.
But above all, the former Spurs player made a great defense by capturing four rebounds, distributing three assists and recovering six balls, for only one loss.
The eighth-seeded Grizzlies put the Jazz, the best seeded in the Western Conference, in an early hole and especially with the pressure of having to win the second game of the best-of-seven series to be played at their Vivint field. Arena, Salt Lake City.
Now the Jazz will no longer have the field advantage, which they will have to regain when they go to play Memphis in Game 3 of the series.
The reality now for the Jazz is deciphering how to contain the great individual, team and defensive work that the Grizzlies did under the direction of their coach Taylor Jenkins, who won the duel against veteran Quin Snyder.
Brooks set a franchise scoring record in a single game for a Memphis player who made his NBA playoff debut, surpassing the 24 points scored by Spanish center Marc Gasol against the San Antonio Spurs on April 17, 2011.
Croatian forward Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Jazz, but missed 7 of 11 3-point attempts.
While point guard Mike Conley, former Grizzlies franchise player, had a double-double of 22 points, 11 assists and six rebounds, which in the end could not give the Jazz victory either.
Gobert also finished with a double-double of 11 points and 15 rebounds, while power forward Derrick Favors finished with 12 points and 11 balls captured under the hoops, which also did not prevent the first big surprise defeat that the second day of playoffs generated. 2021 of the NBA.
In other results of the day, the Philadelphia Sixers beat the Washington Wizards 125-118, the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Lakers 99-90 and the New York Knicks lost 105-107 to the Atlanta Hawks at home.
(c) EFE Agency