The Memphis Grizzlies and the Denver Nuggets had a little rematch tonight in a baseball-like 2-game series at FedExForum. The Grizzlies were looking to build a winning streak, while the Nuggets were looking to avenge Monday night’s loss.
It was a fun Wednesday night regular season game, folks.
Memphis got out to a blazing start, ripping off a 17-5 run in the first 4 and a half minutes of the 1st quarter. De’Anthony Melton helped set a good tempo with his offensive aggression and his activity. They also continued to look for Jaren Jackson Jr. early and often — a good sign in helping him snap out of this slump.
The Grizzlies rattled off 7 three’s in the 1st quarter, en rout to a 37-19 lead at the end of the period. Ziaire Williams led the charge in this regard, drilling 3 of his 4 three-point attempts in the opening quarter.
The second quarter started slower for Memphis, as Denver found their groove and entered with more urgency. They outscored Memphis 12-3 in the first 3 minutes. Memphis had some moments here and there, but the Nuggets charged back to get back into the game with around 4 minutes left in the half. Ja Morant put an exclamation mark on the half with this wild sequence:
Ja Morant — we are witnesses to Big 12— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) November 4, 2021
The Denver Nuggets started the second half strong out the gates, but the Grizzlies picked things up through the electricity of Ja Morant. He was getting out in transition and splitting pick-and-rolls — just slicing the Denver Nuggets’ defense. Denver got up as much as 10, but the Grizzlies went on a solid run between the end of the 3rd quarter and the start of the 4th quarter with the stellar shooting from Jaren Jackson Jr. — who drilled 3 three’s in less than a minute.
He continued the energertic play with his great two-way play — providing exactly rim protection and stretching the opposition with his long-range shooting.
The Grizzlies and Nuggets continued to go back and forth down to the final moments. Literally final seconds. Ja Morant split 2 free throws up 1 to make it a 2-point ball game.
Ultimately, Jaren Jackson prevented a Nikola Jokic buzzer-beater to win the game.
- This is the Jaren Jackson Jr. that got the extension. The defensive anchoring, the 3-point shooting, and the flashes inside the arc — this is why Jaren Jackson Jr. inked a contract extension worth $100M. It was easily his best game of the season, and it was a great reminder to everyone of Jackson’s talent. He was awesome, and his 3rd-4th quarter performance helped the Grizzlies spell Ja Morant a nice, solid rest leading up to crunchtime.
- Ziaire Williams had his best game. Congrats to Ziaire Williams for his first double-digit scoring night! The rookie out of Stanford shook off a poor shooting night from Monday night to connect on his first (and only) 3 three-pointers, illustrating the “let it fly” approach Taylor Jenkins wants his staff to adopt. If you’re one looking for Ziaire flashes, this game is a good place to point.
- We are blessed to have a talent like Ja Morant. His confidence, craft, pizzazz, and his star aura — we haven’t seen much like it in Memphis.
- De’Anthony Melton had great activity. Mr. Do Something lived up to the monikor — flying for deflections and blocks, finding his teammates, and doing a bit of scoring himself. He was a really good connector and glue guy in this game.