The Memphis Grizzlies are coming off a win, for the first time in a long time they were looking to win two in a row against the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. The Denver Nuggets are one of the best teams not only in the western conference but in the entire NBA, being able to win two in row was a very tough ask for this Grizzlies team.
The game started well for the Grizzlies as they jumped out to a 13-2 lead behind two three pointers from Mike Conley. After a three from Marc Gasol they pushed the lead up to 16-2, Marc had 7 points and Mike Conley had 6 points early on in the first quarter. The Grizzlies played with a defensive intensity I have not seen in quite some time, almost like they had remembered that they too, know how to play basketball. Marc Gasol reached double digits in points with a few minutes left on the clock in the first quarter. Behind the defense and great shooting the still had a 9 point lead on the visiting Denver Nuggets. The Grizzlies did not stop their hot shooting, Marc Gasol finished with 14 points in the first quarter and they lead 30-16.
The second quarter is when the Grizzlies stepped on the gas. The bench came into the game and behind Bruno Caboclo (yes, Bruno Caboclo) the Grizzlies continued to extend the lead. Once Mike Conley came back into the game, he only helped to extend the lead by driving the basket as well as setting up other players for easy baskets, pushing the lead to 18 points mid way through the second quarter. The Grizzlies were on first in the first half, Marc Gasol scored 21 points and Mike Conley had 12 points and 6 assists. They led by 19 points at halftime.
It was a bit of a rocky start for both teams to begin the third quarter. Both teams scored a combined 4 points the first five minutes of action in the quarter. That did not last long as the Grizzlies went right back to what was working for them in the first half, getting turnovers and turning those into fast break points. Jaren Jackson Jr. went off the court to the locker room after falling awkwardly on his ankle. Mike Conley hit a three pointer on a fast break to put the Grizzlies 25 points and the crowd was the loudest I have heard it at the forum in a long long time. Nikola Jokic starting to get going in the third quarter with 20 points through three quarters sparking a little bit of fire in the Nuggets but the Grizzlies had such a big lead it was hard for them to come back. Marc Gasol only scored 3 points in the third quarter but the Grizzlies still had a 17 point lead.
The Grizzlies gave up a small run to the Nuggets to open the fourth quarter and they lead was cut to 14 points. The Grizzlies really struggled on the defensive end in the fourth quarter, letting the Nuggets get back into, but more importantly they just could not score a basket. The Nuggets were not scoring at an impressive rate, but the Grizzlies just could not keep up, which was the main issue. The Nuggets got the lead down to 7 and after a three pointer from Will Barton it was just 4 points. The Grizzlies once had a 25 point lead and not it was down to just a two possession game with just under three minutes left. Mike Conley then dribbled the ball off of his foot turning the ball over and Will Barton hit a wide open three to put the Nuggets up two. Justin Holiday came right back on the other end to hit a three of his one to put the Grizzlies back up one with 36 seconds to go.
Nikola Jokic put the Nuggets on his back and hit a really difficult shot to go back up one point and then Kyle Anderson missed two shots looking at the basket, but his third attempt from behind the basket went in, but he was out of bounds. Grizzlies lose after being up 25 points.
- JaMychal Green did not play due to injury.
- Kyle Anderson started the game and would be the first time he has played in 8 games after going down with an ankle injury.
- Marc Gasol is still very good at basketball when he wants to be.
- Give Bruno Caboclo a contract for the rest of the year.