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Grizzlies defense malfunctions and the Nuggets claim the win, 111-108

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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

Well it could have been a lot worse. Remember how bad that 3rd quarter against the Suns was? That was basically the entire first half. It could have been the 2nd night of a back-to-back (where the Grizzlies have been 1 for 2), the high altitude, a hangover from the emotional comeback 4th quarter against the Suns or the Nuggets wanting to strike back after the 120-99 loss last Saturday.

After the Nuggets shot 54% in the first half, the Grizzlies came back on a 7-0 run, but the defense just couldn't hold anything down for very long. They pulled within three in the final moments, but Mike Miller missed, and the Nuggets snapped their 8 game losing streak.

Game Balls:

Statistically speaking, it should go to Mike Conley with 23 points, 4 steals and 8 assists but I'd give it to the much derided Tayshaun Prince, who showed up with teeth. 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and only one turnover in 29 minutes.

Cause for Concern:

So very much. James Johnson was sat for an extended period of time, possibly for a showy windmill dunk on nobody or a behind the back pass that was picked off. Jerryd Bayless was sat for the entire second half after going 0 for 5, including 0 for 3 beyond the arc. Johnson came back and played a little humbled, finishing with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, but only 4 points. And Nick Calathes and his beard showed up. In 5 minutes he earned a -10 in the +/- category.

In The Mud:

The Grizzlies brought back some ugly possessions that you can tell just frustrate opposing teams to no end. Briefly the Grit n Grind brought the Grizzlies back from the brink, but the lack of shooting had done them in again.