The Denver Nuggets showed the Grizzlies what they're missing from their bench last night, as J.R. Smith scored 30 points in 28 minutes. J.R. 'Swish' was shooting straight bananas, 10-16 from the field and 7-10 from deep. That's the nature of the beast; he gives you this type of ethereal shooting in about 1 in 10.
Too bad it happened to the Grizzlies, because this one was competitive for the first 3 quarters. The Grizz led by 6 at halftime, then were tied going into the 4th. Zach Randolph and O.J. Mayo both kept the Grizzlies afloat, going for 22 and 25 each. Marc Gasol had a nice night, too, with 17 points, 7 boards, and 6 assists.
Rudy Gay and Mike Conley were uncommonly awful, though. Marcus Williams played close to as many minutes as Conley and was way more effective in his time (13 points and 6 assists in 21 minutes compared to 6 points and 2 assists in 27 minutes). Rudy Gay just looked way too tired to mess with Carmelo Anthony, who thoroughly dominated him in every aspect of the game en route to 24 points.
When the Nuggets started running in the 4th none of those stats mattered, though. Smith, Chauncey Billups, didn't matter: they all killed us from deep. Once the floodgates opened there was nothing the Grizzlies could do. Memphis's starters were tired from the big minutes, and they didn't have anybody on the bench to bail them out.