Donovan Mitchell scored 25 points in his much-anticipated return from a sprained ankle and the Utah Jazz overcame Ja Morant’s franchise-record 47 points in a 141-129 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, tying the first-round playoff series at a game apiece.
Mitchell, who was limited to 26 minutes, made five 3-pointers. Rudy Gobert had 21 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks for the Jazz.
“He was really antsy to get back out there and you know he missed it. So it was great, getting his energy, his his positivity his aggressiveness,” Gobert said.
Mike Conley had 20 points and a career-best 15 assists, and Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points to help the Jazz knot the series.
“Mike had 20 and 15 Rudy at 21 and 13 — we did a lot of really good things so it made my job easier. I didn’t have to come in and just do everything. I was able to just find my spots and attack and just kind of just do what I do,” Mitchell said.
Morant broke Conley’s Memphis playoff scoring record, and became the first player to score as many as 71 points in his first two career playoff games since the NBL merged with the BAA to create the NBA before the 1949-50 season.
“I just got to be aggressive at all times. I put that pressure on myself to get us back in the game. I was able to get to my spots on the floor and make shots,” Morant said.
Two Gobert dunks off pick-and-rolls powered a 10-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters and gave the Jazz a 110-97 lead following a three-point play by Mitchell.