It wasn't enough Saturday night as Utah used an 8-0 fourth-quarter run and Gordon Hayward's 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to secure a 90-84 victory.
"It showed how physical the game was," said Paul Millsap, who finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. "A guy loses his shoe, he picks it up, plays defense."
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Gasol was called for a personal foul on the play as he whipped the shoe at Derrick Favors as the Jazz third-year power forward drove toward the hoop early in the fourth quarter with the Jazz leading by four.
Mo Williams quipped that Gasol should have been ejected, even if he "got all ball" with the shoe.
Gasol's three-point play with 4:24 left pulled Memphis within 79-76, only to see Millsap score five straight and Hayward hit another 3 for an 87-76 Jazz lead.
Jerryd Bayless, who led all scorers with 24 points, tried to bring the Grizzlies back. He scored eight straight, including back-to-back 3s, but turned it over on the next possession with 38 seconds left before Hayward hit the clinching 3.
Hayward led the Jazz with 17 points in his first start since November, moving into the lineup at small forward as Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin hoped to add another playmaker on both ends of the court.
The Grizzlies (44-21) had won 14 of 15 but have dropped two straight to close out a four-game road trip.
Utah (34-32) pulled within a half-game of the idle Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"That was a tough loss," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "They played with a lot of energy and we just didn't play smart down the stretch."
The Jazz used the lineup change to put behind a forgettable effort in Wednesday's 23-point loss in Oklahoma City, when they scored 28 in the first half and shot a season-low 35 percent.
They also played with more energy on Saturday. Williams dived to the floor to force a Memphis shot-clock violation in the first quarter and Enes Kanter went head first into the crowd trying to save a rebound.
The Grizzlies put up a fight, too, with Gasol slinging his shoe at Favors trying to slow him down in the fourth quarter.
"I didn't even know he hit me with a shoe at first until somebody told me," said Favors, who finished with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, with six rebounds and two blocks in 27 minutes off the bench. "He had to do what he had to do, I was attacking the rim."
Williams, still trying to regain his form after missing 32 games with torn ligaments in his shooting hand, knew the Jazz had to match Memphis' intensity.
"They're as physical as they come," Williams said. "The only way to be in a game with them is be as physical."
With 16 games remaining for Utah, he said the Jazz finally have found their identity.
"We got to grit and grind," he said. "I can steal that from Memphis because we are a replica of them. They've been together long enough to play that way each and every night. Collectively we didn't know when we were going to find it, but that's who we are. We have to be physical. ... We can't pound the ball on offense then on defense be soft. We have to take a page out of Memphis' book and they're physical on both ends of the floor."
Memphis led 50-45 at the break, but the Jazz used a big third quarter to regain control.
The Jazz had been outscored 55-28 in the third quarter in a pair of losses this season to Memphis. They outscored the Grizzlies 24-9 in the third Saturday to take a 69-59 lead into the fourth.
Randy Foye's 3-pointer and a 10-foot bank shot by Williams gave the Jazz a 64-55 lead. Hayward pushed it to 66-55 with a jumper off the break and Williams sank a free throw for a 12-point Jazz lead with 1:59 left in the third after Hollins was called for a technical.
Despite opening the fourth on an 8-2 run, the Grizzlies couldn't get over the hump at the end.
"Down 10 (entering the fourth), that's tough to recover from," said guard Tony Allen.
So was Hayward's huge 3, his third of the game, a shot Hollins called a "dagger."
"It's tough, but we have another game on Monday where we will be able to bounce back," said Bayless, who hit 9-of-14 shots and 4-of-7 3-pointers. "We wish we could have won tonight, but at the same time it wasn't a bad road trip."
- Longtime Jazz broadcaster Hot Rod Hundley attended Saturday's game.
- Memphis G Tony Wroten did not dress Saturday and returned to the team hotel because of migraines.
- Conley entered the game needing two steals to break his own franchise record for total steals in a season (144 in 2010-2011). He finished with one.
- Randolph added 19 points for Memphis and Conley 13 but shot just 6 of 18. Gasol was just 5 of 14 for 11 points.
- Memphis' nine third-quarter points and two field goals were a season low for a quarter.