Mitchell scores 35, leads Jazz past Grizzlies 126-110
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Donovan Mitchell went into attack mode on one possession after another against the Memphis Grizzlies. It opened a new level of offensive efficiency that lifted the Utah Jazz to another comfortable victory.
Mitchell had 35 points and seven assists to lead the Jazz to a 126-110 win over the Grizzlies on Saturday night. He shot 12 of 17 from the field and was directly involved in scoring or assisting nearly half of Utah's 46 baskets.
''The biggest thing was being aggressive,'' said Mitchell, who handled point guard duties with Mike Conley sidelined. ''With a man down, everyone has got to raise their level. I just did it through scoring.''
Jordan Clarkson scored 28 points off the bench for Utah. Rudy Gobert chipped in 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Joe Ingles added 15 points and seven assists.
The Jazz (34-11) made 19 3-pointers and shot 50% percent from the field overall on their way to their 19th consecutive win at home.
Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis. Kyle Anderson was the top scorer with 16 points. Dillon Brooks added 13 and Ja Morant chipped in 12.
The Grizzlies (21-22) lost both games in a two-game set at Utah.
''It kind of got away from us and they hit shots,'' Anderson said. ''They played well and they played together. That's a pretty good team.''
Mitchell hit his first five shots from the field to give Utah an early boost on offense. His final basket in that start gave the Jazz a 23-13 lead midway through the first quarter.
''He was just getting to his spots,'' Jazz forward Royce O'Neale said. ''You know Donovan can get hot really quick. You give him the ball and let him keep going.''
It set the tone for a highly efficient first quarter for Utah, which shot 57% in the period. Memphis struggled to keep up after shooting just 28% over the same stretch.
After Brandon Clarke tipped in a layup to trim the deficit to 28-19, Clarkson hit back-to-back jumpers to ignite an 11-0 run that extended Utah's lead to 39-19 at quarter's end.
Memphis chipped away early in the second quarter and cut it to 45-36 on a 3-pointer from Brooks.
Then Mitchell took over again. Mitchell scored three straight baskets and assisted on three 3-pointers from Clarkson, fueling an 18-6 run that put the Jazz up 63-42 late in the second quarter.
''They were in attack mode,'' Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. ''Mitchell played great and we didn't have an answer for him.''
Mitchell tallied 28 points on 10-of-12 shooting before halftime, his career high for points in a first half. Clarkson was right with him in terms of efficient scoring, tallying 20 first-half points on 8-of-11 shooting.
Utah led by as many as 30 points in the second half, going up 90-60 in the third quarter after Gobert capped off a 16-2 run with a putback layup.
Grizzlies: Valanciunas has collected 168 rebounds in his last 11 games. . Memphis scored 32 points off 22 Jazz turnovers.
Jazz: Conley was out for right hamstring injury management. . Matt Thomas made his debut after Utah acquired him from the Raptors earlier in the week. Thomas finished with zero points and three turnovers in six minutes.
O'Neale scored all of his 10 points during a three-minute stretch in the third quarter. He made three straight baskets in only 55 seconds to help the Jazz build a 30-point lead after attempting only one shot in the first half.
Jontay Porter, the younger brother of Denver forward Michael Porter Jr., finished with five points on 2-of-2 shooting, getting the first points of his NBA career.
Porter went undrafted in the 2019 NBA draft after tearing his ACL twice in two years. He signed a multi-year contract with Memphis in November and has appeared in just two games with the Grizzlies so far.
''It was kind of just a `wow' moment because it's been so long to get out there on the court and realize my dream,'' Porter said.
Grizzlies: Visit Houston on Monday.
Jazz: Host Cleveland on Monday.
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