Final Score: Grizzlies 100, Nuggets 97 - Jan. 31, 2012
Stats of the Night
After shooting .306 (19-of-62 FG) through the first three quarters, Memphis made 11 of its 16 field goal attempts (.688) and three of its five three-point attempts (.600) to outscore Denver 31-24 in the final quarter to force overtime..
Trailing by four points with 2:27 minutes remaining in overtime, Memphis closed the game by scoring the final seven points…O.J. Mayo’s three-pointer with 35.1 left in the game gave Memphis a 98-97 advantage, the team’s first lead since the score was 19-18 with 1:47 left in the first quarter.
After contributing one point in the loss against San Antonio last night, Rudy Gay bounced back with 20 points against the Nuggets… Gay’s 20 points and career-high tying 13 rebounds marked his third double-double recorded this season.
Rudy Gay tied Shane Battier as the franchise’s all-time steals leader (523 steals)… Battier needed 419 games to reach his record total, while tonight marked Gay’s 393rd game in a Grizzlies uniform.
For his career, Gay has averaged 12.7 points per game (687/54) in games immediately following single-digit scoring… However, excluding his rookie season, when he averaged 10.8 points per game (overall), Gay has averaged 19.1 (363/19) points after scoring fewer than 10 points (since 2007-08).
Marc Gasol, alongside Rudy Gay, led the team with 20 points and 13 rebounds, recording his 13th double-double of the season…Gasol has grabbed 10-plus rebounds 17 times and has scored 20-plus points 7 times during the 2011-12 season.
O.J. Mayo scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Al Harrington led the Nuggets off the bench with 23 points and 10 rebounds, which marks his third season double-double.
Memphis erased a fourth-quarter deficit to send the game to overtime and O.J. Mayo (18 points) hit a 3-pointer to seal a 100-97 victory over the Denver Nuggets in extra time on Tuesday night at home. Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay each tallied 20 points and 13 rebounds.
On the Grizzlies:
“We were executing in the first half; we just couldn’t make any shots. The thing I thought kept us in the game was offensive rebounds. I’ve been saying that there are nights that you won’t shoot very well, but you still have to rebound and give yourself more possessions, and we did that tonight. We had 86 shots to their 80 shots. We got to the free throw line and made 28 out of 35, which was huge. We had 17 offensive rebounds. Another huge factor was that we made six threes. That negated their seven. We turned them over 25 times. We only had 17. We had outstanding hustle plays all night long, right down to the end of the game. Guys were diving and leaving their hearts and souls out there. I told them that, that is who we are. That is how we got to where we are. Last year, this year, it has always been with our effort. We can never let down because when we let down, we’re down 20. We have to scratch and claw every night. Some nights it won’t be good enough, but at least you can go home and sleep at night when you give your all.”
On the players’ meeting last night:
“It’s like when there are times we have a coaches’ only meeting. We don’t get the players involved. They don’t know what is going on. They don’t tell me what was going on in their meeting. I really don’t care just as long as they worked out whatever it was they were trying to work out. That’s the only expectation – a resolution. What they said and how they said it and how they got to a resolution doesn’t matter. There are times during the season when you have to have a pow-wow and confront each other and call each other out”
On how the team prepared today:
“We watched film today. We didn’t even have a shootaround. We came in at 4:15pm, which I had planned to do anyway to give them more rest. Then, I decided not to even go through Denver stuff because it was about us. It was about our energy, our effort. We watched film and nobody was immune from the bad play on the tape. We showed them a lot of good stuff that we had done when we were playing well and we showed them why we were in the funk we were in.”
On the Grizzlies’ effort:
“It was important for us to just come out and give effort. I want to make it really clear, I told the players this, if we had lost, which I’m glad we didn’t, I still would have been proud of them because their effort was right where it needed to be. There will be nights when you have that effort and you do get beat, but you don’t give yourself a chance if you don’t have that effort consistently and we had it. We overcame a lot tonight. We overcame a 12-point lead at halftime. We overcame another lead in the fourth quarter. We overcame a lead in overtime. We just kept battling back until we got a win. That’s what we have to do.”
“I think effort is something that most players give, most of the time. You get a little tired both physically and mentally. You get a little banged up or you think that you’re better than what you are and you start cruising playing in spurts. We’re not a team that can play in spurts .”
On the team strategy:
“It went to overtime. That’s just five more minutes added to everybody’s thing. You have to play your best players. If I had more guys to reach down the bench and bring off that were going to go out and be productive, I would. I think every team is doing the same thing. Denver’s minutes were up as well. They have a little bit deeper bench than us. This is just the way it is. We have to coach the group that we have to the best of our ability. Some guys have to play a lot of minutes. That’s what we have to do.”
On playing OJ Mayo at point guard:
“I’ve been considering that. The reason I wanted to consider that, especially tonight with Andre Miller being the backup point guard was that would be a perfect setting for OJ to guard Miller. (Josh) Selby is so inexperienced against somebody as savvy as that. I thought that would be our best opportunity tonight. It allowed us to keep Tony (Allen) on the court longer. It allowed us to play Q (Quincy Pondexter) a little bit more. I thought it all played just right for us from that regard. We could match up because they stayed small so much; we were able to put whomever on (Rudy) Fernandez, on Miller and on (Arron) Afflalo. It was the right match up tonight. I don’t know if it’s something we’ll do every night.”
On responding from last night’s loss to the Spurs:
“Last night is in the past. We had a great meeting last night after the loss and I thought we responded really well tonight. We were down for a majority of the game and then we fought back and got it into overtime, made some big plays down the stretch and in overtime and got a good win.”
On coming through in the clutch:
“It’s just about being aggressive. Some of our guys were a little fatigued and they played a lot of minutes throughout the game and coach trusts me to get the ball and either make a play for myself or make a play for one of my teammates. It’s all about being aggressive and getting what the defense gives you.”
On the team’s defensive performance:
“I thought in the fourth quarter we really, really got after it defensively and tried to get after their shooters. Al (Harrington) really made some big shots down the stretch, Andre Miller really got inside and was able to open it up for some of their perimeter shooters. We kind of cut that out in the fourth quarter and gave ourselves a chance to win down the stretch.”
On the second half performance:
“played together for 48 minutes. There’s nothing pretty about what we do. There’s nothing finesse about what we do. We just hung our hats on the defensive end for 48 minutes and the results were much better today.”
On ending the four-game losing streak:
“It was very gratifying to get a win but for the most part, we still have a lot of work to do. There were a few breakdowns down the stretch. We need to patch those things up and be able to guard the ball better as a whole. What I liked about today, was that we all stuck in there and the perimeter guys helped Marc (Gasol) with those rebounds when we went small.”
On the win:
“It feels real good. I thought that we did the little things in this game in order to win. We played a very good team. They had been playing very well and especially on the road. For us to come out after last night’s game and to come out with the effort that we did, I think everybody is happy with the outcome.”
On making second half shots:
“If you keep willing it, they are going to go in. Like coach said, as long as we give consistent effort, we’ll score points. However we do it, we’re going to do it; whether it’s on fast-break opportunities or second chance points. No matter how we’re shooting the ball, it shouldn’t dictate how we play.”