SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—It turns out that loss to Dallas was just a minor blip for the surging Utah Jazz.
Utah had won seven straight before Friday night’s 93-81 loss to the Mavericks. Williams was held to 12 points and committed four turnovers in that one, but he overcame early foul trouble against Memphis on his way to a more typical performance for the standout point guard.
“The Dallas game was a slip-up but we’re back on track now and hopefully we can keep going,” Williams said.
“That’s my job,” Miles said. “That’s the position they put me in. I recognized we were a little slow offensively and I tried to be aggressive.”
“We played with effort and we gave ourselves a chance to win against a really good team that plays very well at home,” Conley said.
After Randolph’s layup cut Utah’s lead to 84-81, Miles assisted on two baskets and converted a three-point play on a nifty pass from Williams to boost the Jazz to their largest lead of the game, 92-81 with 3:05 to play.
“When C.J. comes in and scores 18 or 20 points, we have been really successful,” Williams said. “We need him to be that consistent scorer off the bench and bring a lot of energy.”
The Grizzlies went 1 for 11 from 3-point range in their second game of a four-game Western trip.
“They execute and that’s what ground us up at the end,” coach Lionel Hollins said. “They executed and got some layups and they spurted on us and we just couldn’t overcome that.”
After nearly three quarters with neither team holding a lead of more than seven points, Raja Bell(notes) scored five of seven consecutive Jazz points bridging the third and fourth quarter that gave Utah a 72-65 lead. Bell made four of five 3-point attempts and finished with 14 points.
“I’m always ready to shoot,” Bell said. “Tonight was one of those nights I was getting good, clean looks. I jumped up there and tried to make the most of them.”
The Jazz blocked 10 shots and their scrambling defense quelled the Grizzlies’ hopes for a fourth-quarter rally.
Conley has averaged nearly 22 points over his last five games and got to the basket on several drives. But the point guard gives up 25 pounds to Williams and had a difficult time keeping his counterpart from scoring inside.
“He is very tough and physical,” Conley said. “He is a big point guard and when you put your hands on him he will get the foul, but if you don’t he’ll blow right by you because he’s so big and strong.”
Utah has won 12 of 13 games against Memphis, the lone loss a 91-89 squeaker on Jan. 8 in Memphis.
NOTES: Utah C Kyrylo Fesenko(notes) went to the locker room after blocking a shot and landing awkwardly early in the fourth quarter. He did not return. The team said he sprained his left ankle. … The game was tied 14 times but the Grizzlies’ largest lead was only two points. … Memphis’ Marc Gasol(notes) got a technical foul with 3:15 left in the first quarter for kicking the basket standard after a foul call. … The Jazz improved to 10-0 when leading after three quarters.