The Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies started the game off sloppy with a few empty possessions before Kyle Anderson got the scoring going with a floater before Will Barton answered with a jumper. He followed that up with a pair of triples on the next two possessions. Following a turnover by Ja Morant, he was fouled on a 3-pointer and made all three freebies at the line. Morant and Barton traded buckets before Memphis called a timeout down 13-4.
WILL THE THRILL— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 20, 2021
Nothing like a personal 13-4 run to begin the game! pic.twitter.com/cRvObDlH1G
Memphis got a pair of buckets to fall out of the timeout as Denver had yet to get any points out of someone other than Barton before Nikola Jokic got a tip-in layup to fall. Memphis scored five straight, and they were within two with 5:46 remaining when Michael Malone called a timeout to stop the momentum. Jokic found Aaron Gordon for an easy dunk out of the break. Vlatko Čančar hit a contested floater, but the Grizzlies got the points right back with a corner triple before Morant was fouled on a drive to the rim.
Morant went 1-of-2 at the line before DeAnthony Melton knotted the game up at 19. Jokic got the two right back with a dunk. Morant hit Melton for a long triple that gave Memphis their first lead since the game was 2-0. Denver gave a free two points off of their seventh turnover on the night that Jokic quickly matched before Melton hit another 3-point bomb.
Michael Porter Jr. got a layup to fall for his first points, but Brandon Clarke hit a wide-open layup to wipe it away. A bad miss by P.J. Dozier was followed up by another 3-pointer from Melton before he hit one last one to take a 10-point lead with less than five seconds remaining in the quarter. Paul Millsap hit a floater as time expired to give Denver some late life.
Porter was fouled out of the quarter break and nailed both free throws. He skied for a huge block in transition, but Millsap threw the ball away going the other direction. Dozier found JaMychal Green rolling to the rim for a layup that drew a goaltending call on Memphis to bring them within four. Millsap hit another shot off the glass, and they were within two which forced a Memphis timeout.
Justise Winslow halted the Nuggets’ run at eight with a shot off the backboard. Green hit a triple following a turnover by Winslow to bring Denver within one before Millsap tied the game up with a 1-of-2 showing at the line. Millsap regained the lead before Green hit a layup of his own to stretch it to four as Denver was on a 16-2 run. An Allen triple slowed Denver down, but Millsap drew another foul on a floater and turned it into a 3-point play before it was wiped out by Xavier Tillman with a 3-pointer of his own. Vlatko fouled Allen on a 3-pointer, and he went 3-of-3 at the line. Melton hit a 3-pointer off of a turnover, and they were now leading by five into a Denver timeout.
Denver turned it over again, and Memphis was rolling with 22 points off of turnovers on the night which was 22 of their 51 points. Jokic missed a technical free throw along with a 3-pointer. Jokic finally ended a 14-0 run with a tip-in layup before Allen hit a floater. Jokic converted a tip-in layup through a foul, and he was getting aggressive inside which led to the 3-point play at the line.
Barton went 1-of-2 at the line. Denver and Memphis traded empty possessions before Allen was called for a technical foul after a blown call on a fast-break attempt. Jokic hit a triple with 60 seconds remaining, and Denver was within four before they forced a shot-clock violation out of Memphis. Denver got two points on the board before Morant hit a pair of free throws with 4.5 remaining, and Memphis lead Denver 60-56 at the half after Denver committed 15 turnovers in the first half.
The third quarter with a Memphis floater from Allen before Jokic converted a 3-point play after the refs nearly blew the play dead. Allen hit a pair of free throws. Tillman got a contested layup to fall, and Facundo Campazzo was called for a blocking foul on Morant that sent him to the line where he went 1-of-2. Desmond Bane hit a triple, and the lead was up to 11 for the Grizzlies.
Quick 9-0 run from the squad, all from beyond the arc pic.twitter.com/WkOQiTrY5e— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 20, 2021
Out of a Denver timeout, Jokic missed a triple before the team gave up a layup to a leak-out defender. The two sides traded empty possessions before Porter hit a huge triple from the corner. Campazzo followed it up with a triple of his own, and Denver was back within seven. Barton hit another one, and Denver was within four which prompted a Memphis timeout. Morant hit a pair of free throws, and Jokic matched it with a high shot off the glass. Allen was gifted a free layup in transition, but Jokic again went and matched it.
Morant hit a quick pair of layups, and they were back up by eight before a tap-in by Jokic. Barton hit two free throws, and Facu drew a foul on Melton that gave him four on the night. The two sides traded empty possessions before Jokic got a spinning layup to fall while being fouled before converting the 3-point play to bring them within one before Memphis got a quick pair of points. Jokic found Dozier on the back side of the defense to get him his first two points of the night.
Allen was up to 20 points on the night, and Morant was drawing fouls at will on the Nuggets. Green got a couple of points at the line. After turning the ball over, Shaquille Harrison got a steal and a reverse layup that brought them within one, but Denver gave up five quick points. Green got two points at the line, but Morant got them right back. Memphis got a late two points, and they were leading 95-87 heading into the final quarter.
Denver gave up a quick floater at the rim before Harrison found Green on the wing for a big 3-pointer. Memphis missed a pair of shots at the free-throw line before Porter hit a contested jumper to bring Denver within five. Anderson got his third bucket of the night to fall before Millsap hit a fundamental layup from the block, but a triple from John Konchar stretched the lead to eight. Winslow hit a layup, and Denver was down by 10 with 8:04 remaining.
Dozier hit a layup out of a Denver timeout, and Denver was looking to shrink the lead from the Grizzlies which Porter did with a triple in the corner. Memphis scored out of a timeout, but Porter wiped it away with a huge triple with the shot clock expiring to bring them within four. Morant hit a scoop layup following a missed rebound from Denver, and Anderson hit a triple with 4:58 remaining to get the lead back up to nine.
Melton was fouled at the cup, and he stretched the lead to 10 at the line with a 1-of-2 trip. Tillman got an easy layup, and Porter hit a contested 3-pointer to bring them within nine. Jokic tipped in his own miss to get himself to 30 points on the night before a Morant turnover was bailed out by a bad foul call. Barton had a triple rattle out with 2:15 remaining and Denver down by seven. Jokic got the team within five with 1:51 to go. Facu forced a turnover out of Morant, and Barton rewarded him with a free-throw line jumper to bring them within three.
Morant got a shot to fall at the rim before Barton hit a 3-point shot from the wing to bring them within two with just under 60 seconds remaining in regulation. A Morant double-dribble gave Denver the ball with just over 30 seconds left on the clock. Jokic was fouled with 20.2 remaining to head to the line where he tied the game at 116. Allen missed a triple to win the game in regulation, and the two sides were heading to overtime for five more minutes.
Dozier tipped in Jokic’s miss to start overtime before Melton missed a long 3-point attempt. Morant got a circus layup to fall, but Jokic got those two points right back before Morant drew a foul on Jokic while hitting the shot before missing the free throw. Morant got another two to fall following a miss from Campazzo. Morant hit a 3-point shot to stretch the lead to five with 2:07 remaining, and Denver’s hopes were fading.
Facu was called for a foul, but the call was overturned following a challenge from Malone which gave Denver the ball down by five with 1:40 remaining. Jokic hit a mid-range jumper to bring them within three. Barton turned the ball over following a miss by Morant, and Allen had a chance to bury Denver before he came up short on a dunk attempt before Campazzo threw the ball off of him while he was out of bounds.
WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY pic.twitter.com/5wggex6VNX— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 20, 2021
Jokic missed a shot at the cup, but he forced a miss out of Morant on the other end before a hand-off to Barton led to a 3-point shot to tie the game at 125. Morant had a chance to win the game with time running down, but he second-guessed himself before missing a potential tip-in for the win. The game was heading to a second overtime tied at 125.
Jokic took Tillman to school for a spin-cycle layup that gave him 40 points on the night. Morant attempted to demolish the rim of Ball Arena but was denied before Jokic got another easy two in the paint. The two sides traded misses before Jokic fouled Tillman on a layup attempt which sent him to the line where he went 2-of-2. A turnover from Jokic led to a Morant 3-pointer to give them a one-point lead. Dozier had a couple of chances to regain, but he was unable to do so.
Anderson was fouled and went 2-of-2 at the line to stretch Memphis’ lead to three with 2:14 remaining. The two sides traded turnovers before a Porter triple knotted the game with 1:45 remaining. Jokic drew two different fouls that went uncalled and made the shot anyway through the contact to give Denver a two-point lead. Morant tied the game at 134 with 52 seconds remaining before Jokic buried a wide-open 3-point attempt with 41.1 left in the second overtime which forced the Grizzlies to call a timeout.
Allen came up short on a 3-point attempt with 30 seconds remaining, and Denver was looking for a dagger. Barton nearly turned the ball over before Jokic saved it with a tip to himself. Memphis fouled Jokic which eliminated their shot clock and forced the defense to foul on the inbounds. Dozier caught the inbounds pass, and he went 2-of-2 at the line to stretch Denver’s lead to five with 9.4 remaining. Memphis hit a triple with the clock winding down after a miss from Morant, but they came up short as Denver outlasted them 139-137.
Points: Nikola Jokic - 47
Assists: Jokic - 8
Rebounds: Jokic - 15
Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic 47 points, 15 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 block, 20-of-31 field goal, 2-of-6 3-point, 5-of-6 free throw