Donovan Mitchell wanted to make up for lost time.
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.
“I have never been in this position before, so this is uncharted territory. I had to find a way to just relax myself. It’s easy to go out there and try and hit a home run to start the game, but the game’s not won in the first five minutes,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell, who was limited to 26 minutes, made five 3-pointers. Rudy Gobert had 21 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks for the Jazz.
Mike Conley had 20 points and a career-best 15 assists, and Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points to help the Jazz knot the series.
Buoyed by Mitchell, the Jazz led by as many as 22 points in the first half, but Morant and the Grizzlies roared back in the third quarter. Utah didn’t ask Mitchell to win the game himself, but the Jazz needed his presence to withstand the Memphis runs.