By Ben Golliver
NBA players lose their shoes during games on occasion, but rarely do you see them attempt to turn that into an advantage. Leave it to Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, to make the most of this disadvantageous situation.
With a little more than nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of the Jazz's 90-84 home win over the Grizzlies, Gasol made a turnaround jump hook, only to lose his right shoe when Derrick Favors stepped on his foot. Thoughtful Ed Davis, acquired in the Rudy Gay trade last month, saw Gasol's shoe on the court as he retreated to play defense and scooped it up, returning it to his new teammate as the Jazz entered their offensive possession. Holding the shoe in his right hand, Gasol attempted to swoop in for a swinging steal as Favors drove to the baseline with the Spanish center somewhat incapacitated.
Gasol's swipe was ultimately unsuccessful in dislodging the basketball and he was whistled for a foul as his swing contacted Favors fairly hard in the chest area. The Energy Solutions Arena crowd didn't take kindly to Gasol's corporal punishment approach, booing the play with some vigor.
Utah improved to 34-32 with the win; Memphis dropped to 44-21 with the loss. The Jazz moved to a half-game behind the Lakers for the No. 8 seed. The Grizzlies fell to a half-game behind the Clippers for the No. 3 seed.
Gasol finished with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Favors had 10 points and six rebounds. Video via YouTube user firstandskol