SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz started their 2021 playoff run with a loss Sunday night.
After a back-and-forth battle at Vivint Arena, the 8th-seed Memphis Grizzlies walked away with the 112-109 win over the 1st-seed Jazz.
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The Jazz led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, but Memphis caught back up in the final minutes of the first half. The Grizzlies then held onto the lead for the entire second half.
Dillon Brooks had 31 points for Memphis, Ja Morant added 26 points, Jonas Valanciunas chipped in 15 and Kyle Anderson scored 14.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Jazz. Mike Conley added 22 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds. Rudy Gobert added 15 rebounds and 11 points, and Derrick Favors finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Utah was without starting shooting guard and two-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell. He was expected to play as recently as Sunday morning, but the team announced just a few hours before tip-off that he would remain on the bench. He is recovering after spraining his ankle in mid-April.
The Jazz also found their two other All-Stars, Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert, in foul trouble early in the third quarter. Gobert ultimately fouled out.
The two teams face off again Wednesday night, again in Salt Lake City.
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It was not known as of Sunday night whether Mitchell would return to action in Game 2 on Wednesday.
The first team to win four games out of seven wins the series and advances to the second round of the playoffs.