clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Full Recap: Memphis Grizzlies Grit and Grind Out a Win Over the Denver Nuggets

The Memphis Grizzlies of old were on full display on their way to a needed victory over the Denver Nuggets. With the win, the Bears of Beale Street started a key six-game home stand off on the right foot.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

It was old school stuff, really.

It was Zach Randolph rocking a defender to sleep and then knocking down a 15-foot fade-away jumper. Or he was putting his head in the chest of Nikola Jokic and flipping up his patented baby hook.

It was Marc Gasol putting Jusuf Nurkic into the spin cycle before leaning to his left to knock down a mid-range jumper. Or it was him catching the ball in the high post only to find Z-Bo with his defender on his right hip buried under the basket for an easy two.

It was Tony Allen doing Tony Allen things. Good Tony Allen things. Lots of them. He was playing the passing lanes for steals and an easy breakaway dunk. He had another left-handed dunk in a move that was straight out of 2012 on a nice cut into the paint. He leaped over a guy six inches taller than him to grab the most important offensive rebound of the night.

It was Mario Chalmers knuckling up to Nurkic, who has 10 inches and 90 pounds on our pal Rio, after fighting for a rebounding, which caused both to be hit with technical fouls. This, predictably, brought the FedExForum to its feet, and the place quickly turned into a playoff-level hornet's nest - I believe that's when they like to refer to it as "The Grindhouse."

This led to Chalmers, who was 1-11 from the floor before the indecent, to score eight points in the final two minutes including two Clutch-Conley-esque threes to close out the game.

"Grit and grind forever," said Allen, who finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and three steals. "Tonight showed that we need to make multiple efforts and not get discouraged when teams make runs and hold our hats on the defensive end. I thought we did a great job of that."

It felt like the exact game that fans had watched hundreds of times over the last five and a half seasons.

At one point during the second quarter, the Grizzlies recorded 12 consecutive defensive stops, which allowed them to have a comfortable 12-point halftime lead.

"That's our team; that's our personality," said Randolph, who finished with 24 points, six rebounds and three blocks while single-handedly outscoring the entire Nuggets bench. "We get it in the mud, go inside-out, play defense. It's not pretty, but we just play hard."

Over his last nine games, Randolph has averaged nearly 17 and eight in 27 minutes while shooting over 53 percent from the floor, including going over 20 in two of his last three games.

"He's fantastic," said Dave Joerger. "He's an alpha. He says, 'I want the ball; I'm going to score it; bring it over.' Shortening the game for him I think helps. The minutes don't pile up."

Z-Bo says he's just doing his job.

"I'm going to do whatever I need to do for this team," Randolph said. "Whatever they need me to do, however I can help the team, that's what I'm going to do."

Much has been made about the transition away from the old GNG style of basketball. Well, at least for one more January night in 2016, the Memphis Grizzlies bullied their way to a win thanks to a couple of supposedly fading away Grit and Grind icons - Tony Allen and Zach Randolph.

Follow @sbngrizzlies