Playoffs 2021

NBA Playoffs 2021: Mike Conley Jr.'s steadying hand helping Jazz swing momentum down the stretch

The Utah Jazz held off the Memphis Grizzlies' late rally to seal a 120-113 win on the road, but it could have been different if not for a pair of clutch plays from Mike Conley Jr.

TAKEAWAYS: Mitchell, Clarkson power Jazz to 3-1 series lead

The Jazz were in control heading into the final frame, leading 100-87, but after missing their first nine shots of the fourth, coupled with De'Anthony Melton's scoring explosion, the young Grizzlies looked on their way to squaring the series at 2-2.

Enter Mike Conley Jr.

In the space of two minutes, Conley Jr. drained two 3-pointers and came up with a clutch steal to keep the Grizzlies at arm's length at the FedEx Forum.

First, he buried a stepback triple with 5:08 remaining to put the Jazz up 109-104 and then shortly after he picked Ja Morant's pocket and went the other way, running down the clock before hitting another 3 to make it 113-106.

"He's kind of sneaky quiet. He whispers, but you can hear him," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said post-game.

"He impacts the game in so many ways - and this time, with those big plays. Those two plays certainly impacted the momentum of the game."

His final stat line of `11 points, seven assists, and three rebounds don't jump off the page, but it's crucial sequences like this that make Conley's veteran experience so important to the Jazz's championship aspirations.

The Jazz now hold a commanding 3-1 series lead as they head back to Utah and while they're in control after winning three straight, memories of last season's first-round exit after holding the same lead over the Denver Nuggets is still fresh in their minds.

"We obviously remember that feeling that we had last season, and it's not something we want to experience again," Conley Jr. said.

"We'll hopefully be able to get our minds focused on business and not let this one slip away like we did last year."

Game 5 in Salt Lake City is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2, with tip-off at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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