Grizzlies’ Zach Edey forces overtime with wild tip-in save in summer league debut vs. Jazz

Zach Edey had a double-double in his summer league debut with the Grizzlies on Monday night in Utah.

After a strong start to his summer league debut, Zach Edey more than made up for a late blunder on Monday night in Salt Lake City.

Remarkably, it wasn’t quite enough to lift the Memphis Grizzlies to the win.

The former Purdue star, who the Grizzlies selected in what was probably the most surprising move during the lottery portion of the NBA Draft last month, missed a potential game-winning putback dunk down the stretch at the Delta Center in their summer league matchup with the Utah Jazz.

Yet with just 0.8 seconds left on the clock, Edey pulled off a wild tip-in after an intentionally-missed free throw to force the extra period. The play, which teams fail to convert more often than not each season, was executed perfectly.

But despite his heroics, the Jazz hit the target score in the Elam Ending-style overtime first off a pair of free throws from Keyonte George. He drew a foul from Edey on a drive to the rim before hitting his 16th and 17th free throws of the night to seal the 97-95 win. George, who the Jazz took with the No. 16 overall pick last year out of Baylor, had 30 points in the win.

Edey, who fell into a bit of a lull after a strong first quarter, finished with a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds while shooting 7-of-12 from the field. He threw down a huge dunk over Utah Jazz 7-footer Walker Kessler after recovering from a blocked shot in the fourth quarter, too, that left him scratching his head as he ran back down to the other end.

The Jazz, who rallied out of a double-digit halftime deficit, took the lead with just 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter after a huge 3-pointer from Taylor Hendricks. That’s when Edey missed his dunk, which appeared to seal the loss for Memphis before his tip-in kept their hopes alive a little longer.

Edey didn’t score much in the first quarter. He went 1-of-3 from the field and scored his only points in the period on an early pick-and-roll layup, but he held his own against Kessler and still made a huge impact inside. Edey grabbed six of his 15 rebounds in the first quarter and had two blocks early, including one that set up a big dunk from Scotty Pippen Jr on the other end.

Edey scored again just once before half on a fastbreak dunk late in the second quarter, which put the Grizzlies up by 10 at the time. He did get hit with a technical foul in the final minute of the quarter after a brief altercation under the basket — which, despite being extremely minimal from everyone involved, prompted a very long review.

There was a scary moment for Edey in the third quarter after he stepped on Hendricks’ foot. That sent Edey hopping off to the side of the court clearly in pain, and nearly to the locker room for the rest of the night. But after taking a few steps near their bench, Edey quickly returned and came back into the game, seemingly unbothered as he finished out the night.

Pippen led the Grizzlies with 21 points and five assists while shooting 8-of-14 from the field. Jake LaRavia added 18 points and seven rebounds. Kessler finished with 10 points, six rebounds and four blocks for the Jazz to go with George’s 30-point night. There were 68 combined fouls in the contest.

Edey and the Jazz will be back in action on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, respectively, before they head to Las Vegas for more summer league action on Friday. While he wasn’t consistent the entire night, Edey showed flashes of the center he can be for the Grizzlies this season on Monday. As far as summer league debuts go, Edey is in a good place.

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