The Utah Jazz took every punch the Memphis Grizzlies had to offer.
Now Donovan Mitchell and company will try to deliver a knockout blow.
The Jazz pushed the Grizzlies to the brink of elimination with a 120-113 Game 4 victory on Monday night at FedEx Forum.
“The biggest thing is we continued to fight,” Mitchell said after his team went up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. “We won the game mentally. We’ve been here before. This is familiar territory. Now it’s on us to take care of this at home and not come back.”
Mitchell led the Jazz with 30 points and eight assists. Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson scored 24 points off the bench. All-Star center Rudy Gobert had 17 points, 16 of them in the second half, to go with eight rebounds and two blocks.
The Jazz held a 13-point lead entering the fourth period but saw their offense begin to sputter. Ja Morant (23 points, 12 assists) and the Grizzlies cut the lead to 2 with 5:30 to play in the game.
“It’s something we’ve talked about all year long: just the ability to get to the next play,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “When your whole team is focused on that … and there’s a collective mindset and understanding that you have to get to the next play together, that’s what we see.”
Veteran point guard Mike Conley helped the Jazz do that on Monday, answering the Grizzlies’ rally with a crucial steal and two big 3-pointers, putting the Jazz back on track for a Game 4 win.
“It’s resilience and the most important thing is to be able to keep trusting each other when it gets tough,” Gobert said. “When it gets tough, I feel like we raise our level and we raise it together.”
The Jazz hold a 3-1 lead as the series returns to Salt Lake City. And after letting a 3-1 first-round lead slip away last season in the NBA Bubble, this Jazz team is fueled by the sting of that memory as it looks to close things out and advance to Round 2.
“The job’s not done,” Mitchell said. “It’s not finished. That’s the message, (players) 1-17, coaches, everybody. We have to go and take care of home-court back in Utah. That’s where our head is at.”
| Will one of these games not stress everybody out? Who’s to say.
The best from this one #podiumpostgame | @podiumhq pic.twitter.com/L3NqxkwHER
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) June 1, 2021
The Jazz have a chance to close things out on Wednesday night at Vivint Arena. Tipoff is set for Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.