The fourth quarter was about to begin when Grizzlies television analyst Brevin Knight jokingly told Utah Jazz point guard Devin Harris to take it easy.
Utah led by six and had spent the previous three periods putting out more grit than the primary tenants of the Grindhouse.
"We lost to New Orleans (Friday night)," Harris shot back. "We need this."
The Grizzlies made sure the Jazz got real needy in the final frame.
Utah needed to score and struggled mightily to do so against Memphis' active defense. Utah needed to contain O.J. Mayo and slow down Rudy Gay. The Jazz could do neither.
Mayo dominated the scoreboard and Gay controlled the hustle board over the last 12 minutes of the Grizzlies' 103-98 victory Saturday night before 17,190 in FedExForum.
Mayo scored 17 of his 20 points in the fourth. Gay grabbed clutch rebounds and made key stops in an all-around performance that led to 26 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.
The Griz extended their home winning streak to seven games and won for the 10th time in 13 outings overall.
"We made stops," Gay said. "That's all it is. We limited them to tough shots."
Utah led 76-70 after three quarters but the game was tied at 86 with 4:27 remaining. The Griz pulled away by scoring the next five points — the last two on a runner in the lane from Mayo. Just as important for the Griz was their ability to finally contain Utah's big men, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. They combined to be largely responsible for Utah's early control with strong post moves.
O.J. Mayo's late scoring lifts Memphis Grizzlies over Utah Jazz, 103-98
Memphis Commercial Appeal | Apr 15