clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Recap: Denver Nuggets get dominated by Memphis Grizzlies

New, comments
Denver Nuggets v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies started the game out with an easy basket in the paint from center Jonas Valanciunas. In Denver’s responding possession, the Grizzlies played tight defense to force an early timeout with just three seconds on the shot clock. Nikola Jokic also went to the bench grabbing his knee after appearing to knock knees with Valanciunas, although he was back on the court following the timeout.

Will Barton was unable to get a bucket out of the timeout, but Jokic got a block on Ja Morant in transition. After a Nuggets turnover, there was another easy bucket by Valanciunas. After drawing a foul heading to the basket, Barton went to the free-throw line where he was perfect. Following a pair of misses, Dillon Brooks drove right to the basket for a layup to go up by four.

Denver got a rebound, but they turned the ball over again which thankfully lead to a Memphis miss. Craig got the teams first field goal to fall which made them 1-of-5 on the night with a 6-5 deficit before Valanciunas got another bucket. After another Denver turnover, Brooks got an easy dunk in transition to give them a five-point lead. After a miss by Barton, Valanciunas got his fourth bucket to fall in the face of Jokic.

Jokic forced a shot at the rim which did not go, and the team was now just 1-of-7 on the night halfway through the first quarter. Off of a Michael Porter Jr. steal, the Nuggets lost the ball out of bounds off of a tip, but Harris was able to draw a foul at the rim following the out of bounds play. He went perfect at the line which brought them back within five. Memphis got right to the basket on the next possession for an easy basket which Jokic answered with a high-arc 3-point shot.

After shots by Jokic and Grant were blocked, the Grizzlies missed on an alley-oop, but they were able to convert the next possession after Denver gave the ball up after a bad pass. Jokic pulled up in transition for a 3-point shot that made the score 16-13 and forced a timeout out of the Grizzlies. Following the timeout, Valanciunas got an easy basket to fall over the top of Monte Morris on a switch.

Malik Beasley got a basket to fall from the mid-range to keep it close. On the other end, Solomon drained a contested 3-point shot to fall. After a Jokic miss, Brandon Clarke got out in transition for another easy basket. On the fast break, the Grizzlies ran to the 3-point line where they got the shot to fall and force a Malone timeout. Grant missed a long jumper, and he fouled Jaren Jackson Jr. on the other end, although it was pretty questionable.

Denver forced a turnover, but they threw it away in transition when there was a bad pass by Beasley to Juan Hernangomez. After a quick miss by Denver, Jackson got an easy bucket to fall to give Memphis a 13-point lead before Monte Morris got a 3-point bucket to fall and bring them within 10, but he turned it over on Denver’s next possession following a steal. With less than 10 seconds to go, Jackson got a 3-point shot to fall that gave them a 13-point lead heading into the second quarter.

Denver started the second quarter with an easy basket by Grant following an MPJ assist which also gave them their first points in the paint on the night. After another Denver turnover, Memphis capitalized with an easy basket. Grant followed that up with a 3-point shot to bring the deficit back to 10.

After a foul by Beasley, the Grizzlies got Brooks an easy jumper to give them a 12-point lead which Hernangomez was unable to match with a 3-point shot. Brooks then went right at Hernangomez for a bucket at the rim. Morris got his defender to jump past him for an easy 3-point shot and bring them within 11. After a Beasley miss, Hernangomez got a rebound and finished at the rim through contact while drawing the foul. Memphis called a timeout with a free-throw coming.

Hernangomez cashed the 3-point play at the line which had Denver within eight. Hernangomez got a couple of offensive rebounds, but he was unable to get either of them to fall. After a Memphis miss, MPJ got a 3-point shot to fall which brought the Nuggets within five. Hill got a bucket at the rim, but Porter answered it with one of his own. Memphis got an easy bucket on the other end, and Denver committed another turnover after Morris failed to secure a pass.

After trading misses, Morant got a circus layup to fall with the shot clock expiring. After trading misses, Brooks got a layup at the basket to go down, but Jokic answered with a mid-range jumper on the other end. Following a Brooks miss, Clarke got an easy dunk at the rim when Denver didn’t block out. Barton cut the deficit to eight with a 3-point shot, but Brooks got a shot to fall at the rim after being fouled by Torrey Craig on a drive which forced a Denver timeout.

Following the timeout, Harris got a 3-point shot to fall that brought them within eight. Clarke drove to the basket and caught Grant’s arm to draw a foul, but nothing came from it. Following a Denver miss, Brooks drained a 3-point shot to push the lead back to 11, but Jokic cut it to nine with a bucket. Brooks made another circus shot right away to keep the distance. After another Denver turnover, Memphis got a bucket at the rim and a 13-point lead.

Following a pair of misses and turnovers, Harris got a basket to fall at the rim. Kyle Anderson answered with a basket on the other end. Jokic drew a pair of fouls on Anderson and got himself to the free-throw line where he was flawless. On a Morant drive, Grant fouled him, but the ball didn’t lie when when he missed both of his attempts. Barton missed a 3-point shot, but Memphis was unable to make them pay in transition.

After another Juancho miss, Memphis got an easy bucket to fall after a tip-in make by Valanciunas to push the lead to 13. Barton got his own miss to go with 4.4 seconds to go. Running down the floor, Hill drew contact with Harris and drew a “shooting” foul, and he went 2-of-3 at the line for a 13-point lead at the half.

Following halftime, the two sides traded misses before Valanciunas got a layup to fall to give them a 15-point lead. Denver committed another turnover and fouled in transition to prevent another fastbreak opportunity. After a Memphis miss, Jokic hit Barton for an alley-oop that he converted while being fouled from behind. Barton missed the free throw, and after a Grizzlies miss and a Denver turnover, Brooks slammed home a dunk.

On Denver’s next possession, Barton stepped out of bounds which gave them their 13th turnover on the night. Brooks took advantage of a gamble by Harris to take a 17-point lead with 8:30 to go. After another miss by the Nuggets, Brooks got into the lane for a contest basket to take a 19-point lead and forced Denver to take a timeout with eight minutes remaining.

Following the timeout, Jokic got a bucket to fall that allowed him to pass Ty Lawson on the all-time list. Grant then made a 3-point shot that brought them within 14, but they couldn’t keep the run going after Morant hit a shot in the lane and Harris turned the ball over. Denver turned Memphis over, but they responded with a turnover of their own after a couple of misses.

Down by 16, Jokic cashed a mid-range jump shot to give him 16 on the night. On the other end, Valanciunas got a dunk at the rim to fall in the face of MPJ. After trading misses, Jokic drew a shooting foul and hit both of his attempts from the line to bring them back within 14 with 3:30 to go.

Denver forced a pair of misses sandwiched around a turnover before Porter nailed a contested 3-point shot to bring them within 13 and force a Grizzlies timeout. Denver forced a turnover out of the timeout, but they were unable to score off of it before MPJ committed a goaltending penalty on the defensive end.

Down by 15, Hernangomez missed a 3-point shot, and Morris missed another despite an absolutely gorgeous feed from Jokic. Off of an outlet pass from Jokic, Hernangomez got a shot to fall thanks to a goaltending penalty that brought them within 13, but Memphis converted a 3-point shot to take a 16-point lead that they would carry into the fourth quarter.

Following the quarter break, Memphis hit another 3-point shot to take their lead to 19, but Grant was able to match it following an offensive rebound by Morris. After a make by the Grizzlies, Grant got another 3-point shot to fall that was helping to keep Denver within shouting distance. Grant got in on the action on the other end with a good rotation to force a travel by Morant.

Denver turned it over on an inbound pass, and they weren’t able to stop Morant from getting to the rim where he converted another basket in front of Porter, which caught him an earful from Malone. Following a Denver timeout, Grant forced a jump ball off of a Beasley rebound, but he was unable to win it for the Nuggets.

Up by 17, Morant got a basket to fall deep in the paint that gave them a 19-point lead with 9:00 minutes to go. Denver went 1-of-2 at the free-throw line, but their bench wasn’t going down without a fight. They drew a foul down by 18, and Craig got a bucket at the rim off of a Jokic feed. Following a miss by Valanciunas, Jokic got his third 3-point shot to fall and forced a timeout from the Grizzlies.

Morris took a Memphis miss the length of the floor to convert at the rim and make it an 11-point game, but Valanciunas got his 18th point on the night with a flick shot in the paint. After some hectic passing, Denver turned it over, and Valanciunas was able to draw an easy foul on Jokic in the paint. He went 1-of-2 at the line. After a Craig missed 3-point shot, Valanciunas got inside for an easy dunk off of a Morant pass that pushed the lead up to 16 with 5:35 remaining.

Following a Denver timeout, Grant was unable to convert in the paint, and it looked like Denver’s chances of a comeback were fading. Valanciunas went right at Jokic where he was able to convert the bucket and draw a foul, but he again missed the free throw. With 4:35 remaining, Jokic drew a foul, and Harris was able to make a 3-point shot following the inbounds.

After a good defensive possession, Jokic was able to tip in a miss that brought them within 13 with under four minutes remaining. After a make by the Grizzlies, Grant nailed his fifth 3-point shot of the night that brought the Nuggets within 12, but he committed a shooting foul on Brooks on the next possession. Brooks missed both of his free throws, but Denver turned the ball over which led to a 3-point make by Anderson.

Not to be outdone, Grant nailed another one that had them within 11 with two minutes to go. After a miss by the Grizzlies, Barton airballed a step-back three with 1:50 remaining. Denver forced a miss out of the Grizzlies, and Jokic drew a foul which sent him to the line. He nailed both with 1:22 remaining, and the Nuggets were down by nine points.

Following a turnover by Brooks, Barton committed one of his own, and, during his protest of the call, he was hit with a technical foul. Brooks was unable to capitalize at the free throw line, and the lead remained at nine with 1:00 remaining. Beasley drew a foul on a rebound when he was swatted in the face, and he was able to knock down both shots.

Craig committed a foul on Morant when the ball was inbounded which sent him to the line up seven with 49.5 remaining. He knocked down both shots, and Grant’s 3-point attempt was blocked on the other end which effectively ended the game. Memphis turned the ball over late, but Denver was down by nine with 18.7 remaining and Morris at the line, where he went 1-of-2. The Grizzlies dribbled out the clock to a 104-96 win which ended Denver’s winning streak at two.

Stat Leaders

Points: Nikola Jokic - 25

Assists: Monte Morris - 6

Rebounds: Jokic - 13

Player of the Game: Jerami Grant - 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 7-of-17, 6-of-9 3-point, +6 +/-