MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Grizzlies gave it their all on Monday night against the top-seeded Utah Jazz, but unfortunately for them, it wasn’t enough, as they loss 120-113 and are facing an elimination game on Wednesday.
Despite being down 3-1 in this series against the Jazz, the Grizzlies held their heads high in the postgame press conference and spoke about how they need to fix the little things and play a complete 48 minutes to get over the hump against the Jazz.
“We’re right there. We’re literally going toe-to-toe against the best team in the NBA,” Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said. “We’re doing a lot of things, and compared to the previous game, we’re doing more. We’ve got to find ways to do more.”
The Grizzlies are facing a 1-3 deficit, but Jenkins said they are focusing on one game at a time. He said the message is simple: stay together, stay the course, stay in the fight.
“Our series isn’t over,” said Jenkins. “We’ve just got to focus on winning one game and bringing basketball back here to Memphis.”
Being encouraged and believing in themselves were the themes after the game. Grizzlies Forward Jaren Jackson Jr., who finished the night with 21 points and 6 rebounds, in a losing effort, said they go into every game as if it was ‘do or die,’ and will do that on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City for Game 5.
“We just have to stay level headed. It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, we’re going to have the same mentality. We’re going to go out there and fight. We’re going to go out there and battle like we always got a chip on our shoulder mentality. We just keep going. It wouldn’t matter the result. It’s a long series,” Jackson said.
Coming back from being down 3-1 is not impossible and blowing said lead is something the Utah Jazz are familiar with. Just last season, in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, the Jazz faced off against the Denver Nuggets in the bubble and took a 3-1 commanding lead — and then Jamal Murray happened.
The Grizzlies are not the Nuggets, and the dynamics in this year’s playoffs are very different from last year’s; nevertheless it may be possible.
Memphis Guard De’Anthony Melton summed it up Monday night by saying the mindset for the Grizzlies is simple, they must play very hard leave it all on the floor to force a Game 6 and bring the series back to Memphis.
“We understand that we have to make a name for ourselves, and we’re going to continue to fight no matter what,” Melton said. “We are going to step up and fight and try to put everyone on notice.”
Game 5 will be in Salt Lake City on Wednesday night, and tip-off is at 8:30 p.m.