Two teams looking to rebound after rough starts square off in Salt Lake City on Wednesday night when the Utah Jazz host the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Jazz have lost three of four games, with a sole win over the Los Angeles Clippers and losses against the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings. The Grizzlies are still searching for their first victory, having opened with consecutive defeats against the New Orleans Pelicans, Nuggets, Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks.
Memphis, which is without suspended star Ja Morant, appeared to be on its way to a win over visiting Dallas on Monday night. But after the Grizzlies took an eight-point lead in the second quarter, Luka Doncic helped the Mavs storm back with a triple-double of 35 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.
Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. each scored 30 points to lead Memphis, and Marcus Smart had 23 points before fouling out.
This is the first time the Grizzlies have started 0-4 since 2004. It was their largest losing margin this season after falling behind by 17 points.
Coincidentally, the Jazz also lost Monday night against a team whose star notched a triple-double. Nikola Jokic compiled 27 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in Denver’s 110-102 victory against the visiting Jazz.
Lauri Markkanen had another strong game for Utah with 27 points and 14 rebounds, while Walker Kessler had a breakout game with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Talen Horton-Tucker scored 16 points.
Utah fell behind by 17 but pulled within 73-65 toward the end of the third quarter.
Kessler had a 15-point second half, helping Utah get as close as five in the fourth quarter before Denver closed out the win.
Markkanen had five 3-pointers and continued to impress his coach with his stellar play.
While the Jazz don’t have any injuries of note, the Grizzlies have been hampered by absences. Along with Morant, the Grizzlies are missing Steven Adams (knee), Brandon Clarke (Achilles), Luke Kennard (concussion) and Santi Aldama (ankle).