Playing at home didn’t give the Memphis Grizzlies an advantage last postseason.
Perhaps it will give them an edge in Monday night’s home opener.
The Grizzlies go for a 12th consecutive regular-season victory at FedExForum as the Utah Jazz try to salvage the finale of their three-game trip.
Memphis went 41-25 during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season and earned home-court advantage in a playoff series for the first time in large part due to a franchise record-tying 11-0 home surge to end the year. The Grizzlies, though, dropped two of four at home to the Los Angeles Clippers in the opening round, including an 82-72 loss in Game 7.
Memphis (1-1) will try to re-establish its home-court edge following Friday’s 104-94 victory over Golden State. The Grizzlies had nine steals after recording 14 in Wednesday’s 101-92 season-opening loss to the Clippers.
The Grizzlies’ opponents have committed 41 turnovers.
“That’s what we do. We had pressure on the ball, pressure on the wings and we were just taking them away from everything they wanted,” coach Lionel Hollins, whose team led the NBA in steals (9.6) and forced turnovers (17.1) last season, told the league’s official website. “When you’re trying to force a play, when there’s a lot of pressure and also when the shot clock’s against you, turnovers happen.”
The Jazz (1-2) arrive in Memphis after committing 17 turnovers in Saturday’s 110-100 loss to San Antonio, including six in the fourth quarter after erasing a 19-point third-quarter deficit.
Utah is 0-2 outside Salt Lake City after going 11-22 on the road last season.
“It’s tough when you’re on the road against a team like that and come back, but we did,” said forward Paul Millsap who recorded his second double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds). “We put ourselves within reach to win the game, but their veterans came through.”
Acquired from the Clippers in the offseason, 10th-year point guard Mo Williams has been a solid addition for the Jazz with team highs of 22.0 points and 6.3 assists per game.
Williams averaged 9.7 points off the bench last postseason versus Memphis.
Fellow new addition Randy Foye a free-agent signee from the Clippers, averaged 7.7 points in that playoff series. He’s scoring 13.3 per game so far with six 3-pointers - tied with Williams for the team lead.
Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley is 4 of 9 from long range, yet his teammates are a combined 4 for 18. Conley, averaging 14.0 points and 6.0 assists, also has a team-best eight steals.
The Grizzlies are outrebounding their opponents by an average of 4.5.
Utah went 2-1 versus Memphis last season - splitting two games at FedExForum - to improve to 16-5 in this series since the start of 2006-07.