Jazz miss playoffs after loss to Memphis

Jazz miss playoffs after loss to Memphis

MEMPHIS (ABC 4 Sports) - The Jazz score a season-low 70 points in losing to the Grizzlies, 86-70, are are eliminated from the playoff race.
MEMPHIS (ABC 4 Sports) - The season is over for the Utah Jazz.

Zach Randolph had 25 points and 19 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies ended Utah's playoff hopes with an 86-70 victory over the Jazz on Wednesday.

The 70 points scored was a season-low for the Jazz.

The Grizzlies' victory means the Los Angeles Lakers are assured of making the playoffs even before their late game against the Houston Rockets.

"It's disappointing anytime you don't make the playoffs," said head coach Tyrone Corbin, whose team missed the postseason for the just the fifth time since 1984. "That was a goal we set at the beginning of the year. We had an opportunity to go, but we just didn't get it done tonight."

"It's kind of depressing," said Gordon Hayward, who scored 9 points and 3 rebounds. "It was a long season for us and definitely had some ups and downs. We had some games that we'd like to get back for sure so we wouldn't have been in this position. But I'm proud of the effort we gave in this last month just to fight to give ourselves a shot."

Al Jefferson scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Utah, the only Jazz player in double figures.

The Jazz managed only 32 percent shooting and were outrebounded 57-47.

Randolph ended the third quarter with 12 points and seven rebounds as Memphis built the advantage to 16 before carrying a 65-51 lead into the fourth.

The Grizzlies built the lead to 20 in the early part of the fourth.

Utah made one more push, cutting into the Memphis advantage with eight straight points, part of a 12-2 Jazz run. That reduced the Grizzlies lead to 75-65 with just under 5 minutes left, but the Jazz never got closer.

"It's a tough time, especially for it to end like this," said Paul Millsap, who scored 6 points and 8 rebounds. "Some of the things that haunted us all season came back to bite us tonight."

The start of the game seemed to lack the intensity of two teams with playoff implications.

About 10 minutes in, the Jazz were shooting 25 percent, while Memphis was at 37 percent. The Grizzlies' starting front-line opened the game missing 10 of 13 shots.

The shooting eventually got a tad better, but both were under 41 percent at the half as the Grizzlies carried a 40-38 lead into the break.

Jefferson was the only player in double figures with 10 points, while Randolph led the Grizzlies with eight points and eight rebounds.

The defense picked up a bit in the third, but the Jazz's shooting woes continued as Utah missed its first six shots, en route to hitting only 3 of 14, while Memphis built the lead to double digits.

Utah finished the third hitting 4 of 18 shots and committing four turnovers.

"We should be proud of ourselves because there was many times this season that we had a chance to tuck it in and give up," said Jefferson. "But we kept fighting and fighting to put ourselves in a position to get into the playoffs."

The Jazz now face an uncertain off-season with seven players entering free agency. Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Earl Watson, Jamaal Tinsley and DeMarre Carroll are all set to become unrestricted free agents.

"Nobody really knows what's going to happen with our future," said Millsap. "So this does hurt. But we're all professionals and have to deal with it."

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