Even though the Utah Jazz won their third straight game on Saturday night, with Donovan Mitchell scoring 26 points and Rudy Gobert totaling 21 points and 14 rebounds at Sacramento, that won’t be the most memorable thing people take away from the game.
Unfortunately, an inebriated fan in the front row vomited on the court, causing a rather gross scene that required about 10 minutes to clean up before the game could resume.
Players laughed and joked about the situation, and it was all the talk after the game and leading up to the Jazz’s Monday night game in Salt Lake City against the Memphis Grizzlies.
“That was a strange situation,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “We had gone on a pretty good run before that happened. We did a good job of keeping our concentration throughout.”
The Jazz were on a 12-2 run when the pukefest happened, and led 96-82 after the game had been close through three quarters.
Mike Conley Jr., who played for the Grizzlies for the first 12 seasons of his career before joining the Jazz in 2019, scored 17 points in the win over the Kings. Conley is averaging 13.4 points and 5.4 assists.
The Jazz come into this contest 6-0 against Western Conference opponents, including three wins over Sacramento.
Memphis had a rough outing in Minnesota on Saturday, falling to the Timberwolves by 43 points, 138-95. They had won two straight prior to the rout.
Ja Morant only scored 11 points for the Grizzlies, tying a season low. That’s far below his season average of 25.1 points. Memphis made a miserable 34.9 percent of its shots and was outrebounded 50-33 by the Timberwolves.
“They punked us tonight,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “In three seasons, it’s probably one of the least competitive games we’ve ever had. It’s completely unacceptable.”
Morant only took nine field goals, making three.
“I’m not a shot hunter,” Morant said. “But I guess I should have done that tonight in certain situations — played better defensively with more energy. Pretty much what we have to do.”
On the bright side, their struggles Saturday didn’t spill out onto the court like the intoxicated fan.
“I can’t even lie, I was just focused on getting out of the way,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t pay attention to anybody else. Just, no parts. I wanted no parts of that.”
Snyder said the fan had been heckling him for most of the night.
“He was razzing me through the whole game,” Snyder said. “Well, at least through the first three quarters.”
This will be the first of three meetings between the Jazz and Grizzlies this season. They met in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs last spring, when Utah held the No. 1 seed in the conference and Memphis emerged from the play-in tournament.
The Grizzlies stunned the Jazz 112-109 in Game 1 of that series before Utah took control and won it in five games.
–Field Level Media