The Memphis Grizzlies came into Wednesday night on a two game skid looking to right the ship, the only problem was the were facing a 9-1 Denver Nuggets team that had been playing some of the best basketball in the NBA since the start of the season. The Grizzlies came out quick and aggressive on defense forcing the Nuggets into two quick turnovers. They also tried to get the rookie, Jaren Jackson Jr., involved early feeding him in the post and on alley oops. It lead to a quick seven points for the rookie on a pair of free throws, a dunk from a Marc Gasol feed, and a three pointer.
The Nuggets went on a 7-0 run over the Memphis Grizzlies and they never really looked back after that, the Grizzlies could not really come back but they never really let them get away either. Fouls started to add up for the home team, Marc Gasol had 2, Jaren Jackson Jr. had 2, and Ivan Rabb had 3 all in the first quarter. The Grizzlies were forced to play with Kyle Anderson at the center position for the last few minutes of the first quarter.
The second quarter started with the Nuggets getting anything they wanted on the offensive end. The Grizzlies quickly came back with Marc Gasol at the center position, since the 5 guard lineup did not seem to work very well in the NBA. The Grizzlies, however, stuck with the Nuggets through the middle of the quarter, even after playing some pretty bad defense and awful offense, they found themselves still only down four. The game became a defensive slugfest in the second quarter, a low scoring affair reminiscient of the 90s. The Grizzlies were able to tie it up with great defense and a patient offense but the defense helped them get open looks and fast break opportunities. Jaren Jackson Jr. had maybe one of the best halves of basketball I have seen him play yet with 12 points and 3 rebounds but was all over the place, even dunking on Paul Milsap.
JAREN— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) November 8, 2018
The third quarter pickup up right where the second quarter left off, a defensive minded game with little to no offense. It did not help the refs decided to blow the whistle 2-3 times for what seems like every single possession down the court. The Grizzlies continued to smother the Nuggets with defense which helped them pull out to a seven point advantage mid-way through the third quarter. The Nuggets hung around though, a couple of careless turnovers and they were right back in it, tied 61-61. It was a back and forth affair throughout the third quarter but the Grizzlies were able to lock down their defense and keep the game tied heading into the fourth quarter.
The Grizzlies came out in the fourth quarter looking to get Jaren Jackson involved again and it worked for a quick bucket to take the lead. The Nuggets came right back though to take the lead back and then the game went scoreless for while, the refs blew their whistles like crazy earlier in the game but it felt like they were never going to give Mike Conley a foul call. He was run over, hacked, hit and everything in between, but he got nothing. Even through all of that, the Grizzlies were still only down two points. This game was a back and forth affair all night but the Grizzlies were able to pull out a win and get back on track against the Nuggets 89-87.