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Utah Jazz: Team frigid in frosty Memphis

Published: Friday, July 31 2015 7:41 p.m. MDT

Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko, right, fouls Memphis guard O.J. Mayo in Utah's loss.__Memphis center Marc Gasol (33) cheers after he blocked a shot by Utah's C.J. Miles to win the game. (Lance Murphey, Associated Press) Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko, right, fouls Memphis guard O.J. Mayo in Utah's loss.__Memphis center Marc Gasol (33) cheers after he blocked a shot by Utah's C.J. Miles to win the game. (Lance Murphey, Associated Press)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Outside, it was 19 degrees on a day so frigid city schools were closed and snow flurries filled the sky over Graceland.

Inside FedEx Forum on Friday night, the Jazz allowed the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies to build a 19-point lead and toast what would have been Elvis Presley's 75th birthday with a 91-89 win over Utah.

The victory — sealed by O.J. Mayo's winning jumper with 5.2 seconds to go, and Marc Gasol's block of a C.J. Miles drive at the buzzer — snapped Memphis' 11-game losing streak to Utah, and marked the 18-17 Grizzlies' sixth straight win at home.

It was the 11th road loss in 17 away games for the Jazz, who — playing Friday without injured starting point guard Deron Williams (right wrist) for a second straight game — visit 25-11 Dallas tonight.

"My dad always told me that on the road you have to be 10 points better than you are at home," Jazz swingman Kyle Korver said.

Utah Jazz guard Ronnie Price (17) tries to block a dunk by Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay (22). (Lance Murphey, Associated Press) Utah Jazz guard Ronnie Price (17) tries to block a dunk by Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay (22). (Lance Murphey, Associated Press)

"Our effort and execution," Korver added, "is usually about the same or a little bit worse on the road. We've just got to be tougher. We can't have quarters like we did tonight in the first quarter."

Checkout of Heartbreak Hotel for the Jazz came only after they rallied from 19 points down after one quarter — they were outscored 33-14 in the period, marking their lowest scoring first quarter of the season — to take an 87-86 lead on a Carlos Boozer layup with two minutes and 44 seconds to go.

That marked the first lead since 2-0 for the 19-17 Jazz, who beat Memphis by 23 on Wednesday night in Utah — but now have dropped six of their last nine games.

"It looked like we weren't gonna play at all," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said, "and finally we got back in it a little bit by working a little harder and trying to give ourselves a chance."

Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko, right, fouls Memphis guard O.J. Mayo in Utah's loss.   (Lance Murphey, Associated Press) Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko, right, fouls Memphis guard O.J. Mayo in Utah's loss. (Lance Murphey, Associated Press)

Utah outscored Memphis in each of the second, third and fourth quarters, and — after the Grizzlies hit 3-of-6 free throws starting with 1:21 left to go up 89-87 — Ronnie Brewer used two hands to dunk home the rebound a Ronnie Price miss and tie the game at 89 with 23.4 seconds left.

But Mayo answered after a timeout, using Gasol's brush pick on Brewer to drive left and get some space before knocking down a 21-footer.

"It doesn't make any difference who you're guarding ... you've got to make 'em earn it. Get up and play them as hard as you can," Sloan said.

"Maybe you end up fouling them. But that's how you learn how to play people in those situations.

But give him (Mayo) credit. He made a nice shot.

I thought we'd be able to stop him, but we didn't."

"That fadeaway's a tough shot. You've got to give it to him for knocking it down and shooting it with confidence," Brewer added. "It was a good screen. We were supposed to trap and make him pass, but we didn't. It happens."

Utah Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko, right, of Ukraine, fouls Memphis guard O.J. Mayo (32) who drives against Jazz forward Kyle Korver, left, during the first half of a NBA basketball. (Lance Murphey, Associated Press) Utah Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko, right, of Ukraine, fouls Memphis guard O.J. Mayo (32) who drives against Jazz forward Kyle Korver, left, during the first half of a NBA basketball. (Lance Murphey, Associated Press)

The Jazz called a timeout of their own and set up on an in-bounds play on the other end, with five shooters — Price, Miles, Korver, Andrei Kirilenko and 16-point team-high scorer Mehmet Okur — on the floor.

Kirilenko passed to Korver, who instead of shooting dished to a cutting Miles.

"We've run that play as long as I've been here," Sloan said, "and that's the shot that comes once in a while.

"I thought we were gonna get somebody open, but we didn't," he added. "It's one of those things. Give them credit for being able to defend us."

Korver did give thought to shooting before making the pass he did.

"I couldn't tell is someone was right behind me or not — just the angle," he said.

"And after I caught it I turned around realized I probably could have shot it. But I knew there was five seconds left, and we still had more of the play to go," Korver added. "I mean, looking back now, sure, I wish I would have turned around and shot it. But I didn't think I was that open."

Memphis center Marc Gasol (33) cheers after he blocked a shot by Utah's C.J. Miles to win the game.   (Lance Murphey, AP) Memphis center Marc Gasol (33) cheers after he blocked a shot by Utah's C.J. Miles to win the game. (Lance Murphey, AP)

Gasol came from behind Miles, who never had a chance after his cut to the lane.

"They made the plays they had to make to finish the game," said Sloan, whose Jazz are now 0-9 when trailing after three quarters on the road. "Mayo made a big shot, and then they blocked the shot ... that saved the ballgame for them."

GAME NOTES: Price's nine assists are a career-high, topping his November 2008 previous best against Chicago by one. ... Korver's 10 points off the bench are a season-high. ... Utah's previous low for first-quarter points was 16 in a Dec. 23 loss at Miami. ... Before fouling out, Boozer had 13 points and 12 rebounds for his 23rd double-double of the season. Utah is now 4-14 when Boozer scores fewer than 20. ... Okur had a season-high number of free throws, hitting 8-of-8.

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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