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Postgame Report: Grizzlies come up short against Nuggets
The Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Denver Nuggets 108-102 on Friday night at FedExForum. The Grizzlies have now dropped their 12th straight game.
Denver outshot the Grizzlies from the field, knocking down 40 field goals on 73 attempts (.548) while Memphis put up 40 on 91 attempts (.440). Denver’s 54.8 percent from the field marks the second-highest field goal percentage by any Grizzlies opponent at FedExForum this season.
Memphis trailed by 15 points (95-80) with 10:44 remaining in the game before going on an 11-0 run over the next 2:51 to cut Denver’s lead to four (95-91). The Grizzlies pulled within two (104-102) before Gary Harris knocked down a jumper with 59 seconds left on the clock, putting Denver back up by two.
All five Grizzlies starters ended the in double figures. Marc Gasol led the way with a team-high 22 points (7-17 FG, 3-7 3P, 5-5 FT) and nine rebounds. Jarell Martin added 16 points (8-12 FG) and seven rebounds. Dillon Brooks posted 13 points (5-11 FG) while Ben McLemore and Mario Chalmers added 12 points apiece.
Harris led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting while Paul Millsap added 15 points (5-10 FG). Will Barton also finished with 24 points (10-14 FG, 2-5 3P) off the bench. The Nuggets bench outscored Memphis 45-27 in the contest.
The Grizzlies hit the road for a three-game road trip beginning tomorrow night in Orlando. Memphis will face the Orlando Magic for the second time this season at 6 p.m. CT. Tune in to FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners or listen in on all the action on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On the way the young players stepped up:
It’s that competitive nature that we keep talking about. It’s a credit to the character of the type of guys that we have here. You can’t say enough good things about the way these guys continue to battle in tough circumstances. Results, we come short at the end, obviously. But I couldn’t be more proud of the way these guys fought. Everybody who stepped on the floor tonight brought that same intensity, that same fire, battled for one another. It was an unselfish ball game tonight. I can’t say enough about these kids’ effort.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On the frustration towards the end of the game:
We’ve just got to keep playing. We’ll earn our stripes and the way you do that is you continue to be who you are over and over again. You earn your stripes that way. We can’t allow anything outside of our control to distract us. We’ve got to play the game with blinders on and keep competing, keep growing, and through that you’ll see a change.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On a message he has given to the younger guys:
There’s opportunity and players are made in opportunity. A lot of times you’re sitting over there, you never get your chance, but what happens when you do? When your number is called, how do you perform? These guys are competitive guys. They want to be great. So they've done all the things, when the cameras aren’t on, to put themselves in the best position to be able to perform when their number is called. You look up and Ivan (Rabb) almost has a double-double with four assists. The preparation is there; he’s just taking advantage of the opportunity.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On tonight’s game:
We play in waves. I think that we come out and play up-and-down inconsistently. I think that has become our habit and our identity. We kind of second-guess sometimes. I think I saw tonight that if we play hard defensively and play together defensively, things become much easier and the game becomes more enjoyable, because you feel like someone has your back and you have someone's back. Regardless of the result, obviously it's not what we want, but by playing that way you can build something consistent and you build that trust that we always talk about. Obviously, there are going to be days that are going to be better and easier to stay positive and then there's going to be days where it's harder, but you want to keep in mind the negative doesn't help those guys improve. They don't react well to that, so you want to be as positive as you can all of the time.-- Marc Gasol
On being proud of the younger players’ ability to step up:
As long as they play defensively, they hustle, sacrifice themselves and think about the team, then I’m always going to be proud of them. I think that when people think of talent, everyone thinks of "talented," but I think that good teams are the ones where everyone contributes to win, everyone helps, and truly sacrifices for the team regardless of their talent level. Those of the qualities of a great team. It doesn’t matter where you come from, who you were, or how many years that you have been in the league. That doesn’t matter. You can work and as long as we continue to grow in that direction then things are going to be better. I don’t know how good they are going to be or how fast they are going to get to where we want to be, but they’re going to be better.-- Marc Gasol
On if he’s ever been a part of a 12-game losing streak before:
If I have, I don’t remember, because I try to forget all of the negative things that happen to me. That’s the situation that we’re in though. It doesn’t matter if you have been here before or not, but we can just can’t get discouraged by the wins and losses. Obviously, we get discouraged about the losses, but you want to do every little thing that you have to do to help the team win. It doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter how many times, or how many minutes that you play, you just try to do everything that you can do in order to help the team.-- Marc Gasol
On how hard it is to keep pushing if the win doesn’t come:
We can’t use that as an excuse, we didn’t win. No, you still have got to do it. I remember when Lionel (Hollins) first got here and the first year, we were not winning many games either, but you saw the identity of the things that we were trying to do. Everyone was on the same page, and everyone was able to do it. You didn’t have a choice or else you wouldn’t play and you would get yelled at. That’s all we have got to do and eventually things will click. When everyone contributes and finds their role then things get easier and you start winning games. That obviously gives you more of a sense of accomplishment, but until you get to that point you have got to do a lot of little things. Winning is really hard and winning consistently is even harder. Most of the times you want to give up and just not do those things that are so hard and so uncomfortable to do. When you are putting yourself in a position defensively that is uncomfortable then you will feel like that is not your strength, it is, but you just need to stay near your man. They say, ‘My man is not scoring!’ but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is the team gets scored on how many points we give up and those are the things that really matter.-- Marc Gasol
On tonight's loss:
We dug ourselves too big of a hole. We were down like 15 points at one point and then we were coming back and trying to make the crazy pass and trying to thread the needle. Once we got into that and started making plays for each other and attacking the rim aggressively, we came back. They just made some tough shots.-- Dillon Brooks
On the young guys stepping up:
It's great, they got that bounce back into the game when we couldn't finish it. Myke [Henry], Kobi [Simmons, Brice [Johnson], Ivan [Rabb], and all of those guys, they brought us back. They made simple plays, they were finishing, hustling for the ball, creating turnovers, and getting down running. It's just a great feeling to see that and we need more of that every game.-- Dillon Brooks
On how it feels to get heavy minutes as a rookie and how he prepares for those minutes:
I just watch film, see where I can get my shots, extra shots, see what plays I missed, because every game is almost the same. The shots that I'm getting, the passes that I'm giving out - it's right there - I've just got to figure it all out and the game will come slower to me later on.-- Dillon Brooks
- Marc Gasol had 22 points, 5 assists and 9 rebounds.
- Jarell Martin totaled 16 points and seven rebounds.
- Myke Henry recorded a career-high five steals.