NBA playoff tracker: Jazz survive late cold stretch to take 3-1 lead over Grizzlies

·5 min read

They nearly let it slip away in the final minutes, but the Utah Jazz are now just one win away from advancing in the postseason.

The Jazz survived a scare at FedEx Forum to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 120-113 in Game 4 of their opening-round playoff series and take a 3-1 lead.

Jazz survive late dry spell

After bouncing back and forth for the first three quarters, the Jazz finally pulled away from Memphis at the end of the third quarter all thanks to Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson.

Clarkson — who finished with 24 points off the bench — scored eight points in the final 81 seconds of the third to give Utah a 13-point lead headed into the final period. He hit a huge 3-pointer with less than a second left in the period, too, his fourth from behind the arc in the game.

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The Jazz started out the fourth extremely cold, however, scoring only two points — a bucket from Clarkson — in the first nearly five minutes of the period. That allowed the Grizzlies to cut the game back to just three points.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic capped a quick 7-0 run in the final minutes, though, to reset their offense and propel them to the seven-point win.

Ja Morant led Memphis with 23 points and 12 assists in the loss, and Dillon Brooks added 23 points while shooting 7-of-15 from the field. Jaren Jackson 

Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 30 points and eight assists. Clarkson added six rebounds and shot 4-of-9 from behind the arc to grab his 24 points, and Rudy Gobert finished with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Though they’ve now lost three straight, the last two were tight in the final minutes and the Grizzlies lost by just a combined 17 points. Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins knows his team is right there.

"You're never gonna play a perfect game,” Jenkins said, via Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “You've got to play a perfect game against this team and we are so close two games in a row, comes down to the fourth quarter.

"We're going toe to toe against the best team in the NBA. We're doing a lot of things great."

Game 5 of the series is set for Wednesday night in Salt Lake City. The Jazz are still the betting favorite at +225 to win the Western Conference. 

Wizards fend off sweep as 76ers lose Joel Embiid to injury

The Washington Wizards staved off a sweep on Monday with a 122-114 Game 4 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Of larger concern in Philadelphia is the status Joel Embiid, who missed most of the game with injury. The 76ers' All-NBA center fell hard on his tailbone late in the first quarter with Philadelphia leading, 20-12.

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He continued to play, but eventually exited the game with 36.5 seconds remaining in the quarter. He remained in the locker room for the entirety of the second quarter before the 76ers announced at halftime that he wouldn't return, citing right knee soreness. How he suffered the injury and his status moving forward weren't immediately clear. 

Wizards run up big lead, fend off late 76ers surge

The Wizards took advantage of Embiid's absence and ran up a lead as large as 92-78 late in the third quarter. The 76ers rallied back in fourth quarter to tie the game at 106. But Washington posted the game's final surge with a 12-4 run to close the fourth quarter and force a Game 5. 

The series will shift back to Philadelphia on Wednesday with the 76ers leading, 3-1.

Rui Hachimura of the Washington Wizards
Rui Hachimura celebrates during the third quarter of Game 4 on Monday night at Capital One Arena. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Hachimura, Wizards backcourt lead the way

Washington saw big efforts from its backcourt duo of Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal alongside a breakout performance from second-year forward Rui Hachimura playing in his fourth career playoff game. 

Westbrook struggled from the floor, connecting on just 3 of 19 field goal attempts. But he made up for his misses elsewhere, tallying another huge triple double with 19 points 21 rebounds and 14 assists while doing most his scoring damage at the free-throw line (13 of 16).

Beal led the Wizards scoring effort with 27 points, but faced his own struggles while turning the ball over seven times. Hachimura was Washington's most reliable weapon on Monday in an efficient 20-point, 12-rebound effort. He connected on 8 of 12 field goals and 3 of 6 3-point attempts and turned the ball over just once.

Tobias Harris led he 76ers in Embiid's absence with 21 points and 13 rebounds. But he needed 24 shots to get there. Ben Simmons tallied 13 points and nine rebounds as Philadelphia didn't muster enough firepower to overcome the absence of their MVP finalist

The 76ers are a -5000 betting favorite to win the series despite Embiid's injury. 

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