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Recap: Denver Nuggets slip on the road to Memphis Grizzlies

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets started out their game slow trading buckets with the Memphis Grizzlies before the Grizzlies started to go on a run. Denver eventually was forced to take a timeout when Memphis stretched their lead to 16-7 with 7:37 remaining. Coming out of the timeout, Denver still wasn’t getting many stops on the defensive end, but they had the offense rolling. Memphis ended up taking a timeout of their own with 4:07 remaining in the first quarter as Denver had cut the lead down to three. Out of the timeout, the two sides were trading buckets in the final minutes of the quarter, and Memphis would ultimately maintain that early lead into the quarter break 31-26.

In the second quarter, we saw more of the same from both sides. Every time the Nuggets would get a bucket to close the gap, Memphis would get one of their own to maintain their lead. Denver’s second unit kept the game close until the starters were able to return midway through the second quarter with the two teams locked in a three-point game with Memphis leading. Denver’s starting unit was able to battle back and ultimately take the lead late in the quarter, but the Grizzlies regained the lead 60-58 thanks to 41 percent shooting from 3-point range compared to just 13 percent from downtown from the Nuggets. Thanks to a 6-of-8 half and 15 points from Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets were able to keep the game close.

The third quarter was a low-scoring affair with the two sides combining for a total of just 37 points. The two teams were trading buckets and keeping the scoring close, but Memphis got hot late for a short run and was leading by nine at the end of the third quarter. Denver’s 3-point shooting woes continued, and the team was shooting just 4-of-26 early into the fourth quarter which saw them trailing 73-82 to start the period.

The final quarter saw Denver unable to correct their shooting enough to outlast the feisty Memphis roster. Each side scored 24 points, but Denver couldn’t get enough shots to fall to match their stops. They finished the game with a shooting line of 9-of-38 mark from 3-point range which translated to a mark of 23.7 percent. Denver’s offense needs to find another gear sooner rather than later, or they’re going to continue to drop games such as this one that ended in a final score of 97-106.

Stat Leaders

Points: Nikola Jokic - 23

Assists: Jokic - 7

Rebounds: Aaron Gordon - 10

Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic - 23 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 9-of-15 field goal, 2-of-6 3-point, 3-of-4 free throw