Notebook: Nuggets 99, Grizzlies 94



Posted Dec 15, 2012 2:42 AM

By Michael Kelly, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Andre Iguodala scored 20 points and had seven assists and five steals, Andre Miller scored all 18 of his points in the second half and the Denver Nuggets held on to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 99-94 in a rare home game for them.

Danilo Gallinari had 14 points and Ty Lawson 13 for the Nuggets, who were playing just their seventh home game of the season.

Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 21 points and Mike Conley and Marreese Speights had 14 each for Memphis, which has dropped three straight.

QUOTABLE: "We don't win this game without Andre Miller, without question. He is amazing with some of the stuff he does and how he gets it done."
-- Nuggets coach George Karl.

THE STAT: The Nuggets came into the game last in the league in free-throw shooting but went 23-for-26 from the line against Memphis.

TURNING POINT: The Grizzlies were down one but had the ball with a chance to take the lead. But Lawson stripped Gay as he drove into the lane and Miller got the ball. He sank two free throws to make it a three-point game, and after Gay missed a long 3 with 5 seconds left, Miller hit two more to ice the win.

QUOTABLE II: "Honestly it shouldn't have gotten to that point. I feel like we could have won this game. But whether that shot went down or not I think it was a couple of crucial plays that happened before, earlier in the fourth quarter."
-- Gay.

HOT: Miller in the second half. He came into the game, figured out what the team needed and dissected things. He went 6-for-10 from the field and 6-for-6 from the line, including the fourth free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal it.

QUOTABLE III: "It's just one of those games where some easy baskets just came to me. Nothing was forced and that's just how the game played out."
-- Miller.

NOT: Zach Randolph had been tearing up the league in December, averaging 21.2 points and 13.4 rebounds in his last five games. Thanks to some solid defense by the Nuggets' 7-footers, he was held to 10 points and five rebounds and didn't attempt a free throw. Marc Gasol, who came in averaging 15.7 points, finished with 10. The two combined to go 7-for-22 from the field.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Kid 'n Play, the 1990s hip-hop duo, performed at halftime as part of the Nuggets '90s night theme.

GOOD MOVE: Caught in the air without a solid shot after good defense by Speights, Gallinari passed the ball off the backboard to himself for a dunk that tied the game at 75 early in the fourth quarter.

GOOD MOVE II: JaVale McGee won style points with his fourth block of the night. He caught Randolph's short floater in mid-flight and started a fast break that led to a layup by Lawson and an 82-81 Denver lead. He was called for goaltending on a similar play against Minnesota on Wednesday.

QUOTABLE IV: "They haven't seen anybody do that before so they automatically think it's a goaltend. I told coach (Melvin) Hunt today I'm going to keep doing it until they realize it's not a goaltend. I'm just trying to keep the ball in play so I might as well grab it."
-- McGee.

BAD MOVE: The Nuggets continue to struggle with turnovers. They had 19 against Minnesota on Wednesday and had 20 more Friday, which led to 23 Memphis points.

NOTABLE: There was a moment of silence observed before the national anthem for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn. ... Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur was injured when he was hit in the mouth on an inadvertent elbow by McGee at the end of the first quarter. He did not return. ... Memphis reserve guard Jerryd Bayless had 11 assists but didn't score a point.

UP NEXT: For the Grizzlies, Saturday @ Utah, Monday vs. Chicago, Wednesday vs. Milwaukee. For the Nuggets, Saturday @ Sacramento, Tuesday vs. San Antonio, Thursday @ Portland.