I just wish it was a bit easier.
Things started out nice for the Memphis Grizzlies, jumping out to 32-28 first-quarter lead — while also going on a 16-3 run in the quarter. Jonas Valanciunas, in particular, had a hot start. He drilled two 3-pointers and finished the quarter with 12 points and 6 rebounds.
Then, the second quarter happened.
The Denver Nuggets went big off the bench, surrounding Monte Morris with Michael Porter Jr., Juancho Hernangomez, Jerami Grant, and Mason Plumlee. The size was overwhelming defensively, and the Grizzlies couldn’t get anything going. Not to mention, Paul Millsap and Jamal Murray scored 11 points and 10 points in the quarter, respectively. The Nuggets outscored the Grizzlies 44-17 in the second, taking a 72-49 lead at the half.
The third quarter wasn’t nearly as bad for the Grizzlies offensively, but they still struggled to contain Denver. Jaren Jackson Jr. surged, as he used a potent 3-point game to score 15 points in the quarter. Outside of him and Brandon Clarke, no one could really get going offensively. Meanwhile, Jamal Murray continued his hot shooting night, drilling 4 3’s en route to a 13-point quarter — extending his point total to 39. The Nuggets closed the quarter with a 108-80 lead.
Garbage time started soon, as the Grizzlies opened the final quarter with Tyus Jones, Marko Guduric, Kyle Anderson, Solomon Hill, and Bruno Caboclo. Shortly into the quarter, we got a De’Anthony Melton sighting. Garbage time also opened my eyes to how deep Denver is, as they trotted out Morris, Grant, Hernangomez, Porter, and Plumlee — seriously, do they even want Malik Beasley.
Garbage time gave us a solid De’Anthony Melton showing, as he finished with 10 points and made a nice play between defenders in transition. In addition, Anderson, Melton, and Clarke all hit 3’s in the quarter.
I really need Melton to get some real minutes with these two, Ja Morant, and Jaren Jackson Jr.
The Grizzlies were able to make a decent run at the end of the game and showed some neat stuff. Ultimately, the Nuggets won 131-114.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. - 22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 three’s
- Jonas Valanciunas - 16 points, 10 rebounds
- Brandon Clarke - 19 points, 5 rebounds
- Ja Morant - 13 points, 6 assists.