MEMvDEN: Grind City Rewind 11.7.18
MEMvDEN: playlist 11.7.18
Postgame Report: Memphis Defense Helps Down Denver 89-87
The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Denver Nuggets, 89-87, on Wednesday night at FedExForum. The Grizzlies improved to 6-4 on the year and 4-0 at home. Memphis is one of six NBA teams that is still unbeaten at home this season (Denver, Golden State, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Toronto). The win drops Denver to 9-2 on the year.
Marc Gasol logged his fourth double-double of the year, scoring 20 points and collecting 12 rebounds. Jaren Jackson Jr. also reached 20 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Kyle Anderson scored a season-high 14 points.
Memphis used a 10-2 run to take an 82-79 lead with 4:08 remaining in the game, holding Denver to 1-of-7 during that span. Jamal Murray hit a jumper with 17.8 left to tie the game up at 87-87. Denver fouled Gasol with 4.6 seconds remaining, and Gasol would make both to put Memphis up by two. Nikola Jokic got a clean three-point look on an inbound play, his only shot of the night, but missed to seal the Grizzlies victory.
The Grizzlies held the Nuggets to 32-of-82 (.390) shooting, including just 8-of-32 (.250) from three-point range. Memphis shot 30-for-70 (.429) from the floor and was 8-for-21 (.381) from three. The Grizzlies committed 18 turnovers, a season-high, but didn’t turn the ball over once in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies have yet to commit more turnovers than their opponents in a game this year, as the Nuggets turned the ball over 19 times. Memphis blocked seven shots while Denver had four.
Gary Harris led Denver with 20 points. Trey Lyles scored 16 off the bench to go with nine rebounds. Murray finished with 15 points and seven assists, while Mason Plumlee added 10 points.
The Grizzlies committed eight turnovers (four Nuggets steals) in the first quarter, with the Nuggets converting them into 12 points, while the Nuggets turned the ball over four times (one Grizzlies steal), leading to six Grizzlies points. Memphis shot 8-for-14 (.571) in the period, while Denver was 9-of-20 (.450). Denver used a 10-0 run over a 2:02 span (6:22 – 4:20) to help them lead 29-22 at the end of the first quarter.
The Grizzlies defense held the Nuggets to 18 points on 7-for-21 (1-6 3P) shooting in the second quarter, while the offense scored 28 points while going 10-for-19 (2-5 3PT). Memphis closed the first half with a 10-0 run in the final 2:12 to head into halftime with a 50-47 lead.
Memphis went 18-of-33 (.545) from the floor in the first half while limiting Denver to 16-of-41 (.390). The Grizzlies blocked five shots in the half, with three coming from Jackson Jr. Both teams found success at the free throw line, as the Nuggets were 11-for-12 (.917) and the Grizzlies shot 11-for-13 (.846) at the stripe.
The Grizzlies host the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, November 10 at FedExForum at 7 p.m. CT. The Grizzlies will host their first Grind City Wrestling Night, where the first 5,000 fans will get a Memphis Grizzlies Wrestling Tee. Tune in to FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN to follow the action.
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2018-19 Season Tickets or 10-Game Flex Packs can do so now by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com/tickets. Single Game Tickets are also available for purchase at the FedExForum Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com, online at grizzlies.com/tickets or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX. For more information on the Grizzlies, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram (@memgrizz).
On the end of the game:We knew the ball was going to touch [Nikola] Jokic’s hands, and he was going to be the guy that makes the play. Obviously with those two scorers playing around him, four seconds on the clock, it was time for him to keep it, and turn the corner, so we had to make sure we kept him in front of us. Then the in bounder, we needed to make sure we kept a body on him and didn’t allow him to go back door. We did a good job. Ended up taking a tough contested three, and we were able to get the game… again, it was close on the offensive glass. The last possession I had a look at it but our guys found a way tonight.
On the last offensive possession:We’ve had success with those three guys [Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Shelvin Mack] in action. What it does is put a lot of pressure on the other guy who is guarding Mike now. You’ve got Marc who is so skilled in the pocket as a roller. The guy who is guarding Mike has to be the help guy but you’re a little intimidated to leave Mike to help in the paint when Mike is popping out for a wide open three and then Shelvin as a ball handler, is so steady, he can make the right play. Just trying to make the defense in the most difficult position as we possibly could with those three guys making the play.
On staying undefeated at home:The way we won it and how these guys competed to get the job done coming back off that road trip like that – you’ve got to give our guys a ton of credit. It’s the make-up of our guys, you know what I mean. Every morning they wake up – this is who they are. They’re competitive. They’re unselfish. They want to do something for more than themselves. They’re scrappy. You know what I mean? You could come up with all the adjectives you want. For us, what this is about is building the consistency, building the chemistry so we can do this every single night. Offense may not be as pretty, but defensively we find a way to hold them to 39 percent from the field, 25 percent from three. So that’s the way we have to be. Talking about it before the game, it’s a unique style compared to what’s going on in the rest of the league right now. What kind of difficulties can that pose to teams coming in here that are so used to playing one way. You come in here and hit a road block that you’re not used to. Our guys have embraced it, and again, it’s putting it together for longer stretches.
On Marc Gasol playing more aggressively in the second half:We need Marc to be aggressive offensively. The way that they were playing, that pocket was wide open for him and he has the ability to make you pay with either finding the open man or attacking the basket. We saw him get a couple of rolled dunks there because of the way they were playing him. Our guys know it. He knows it. We go as far as he and Mike take us. Big fella had it rolling tonight, and he carried us.
On beating a nine-win team:It’s great. Especially to do it at home after a road trip. So to come back and get it done was great.
On his offense tonight:It was good, I got in a rhythm early. I just felt confident as the game went on and that just led to more shots going in for me. My teammates getting [the ball] to me where I need it in my spots where we practice.
On the win tonight:JB came in here and said we have to get back to the ‘Grit and Grind’ mentality and that’s exactly what this win represents. Holding this team, as hot as they’ve been, to  points at home. Being able to get the win [by] scoring 89 points when Mike [Conley] only has four points, only five for myself, and the bench besides MarShon [Brooks] not really scoring, it was a big win for us. We can hang our hats on that after a disappointing road trip.
On the interior defense:It’s very important. The guards, Jamal Murray and Gary Harris, they’re historically good three point shooters…but they have been getting a lot of points in the paint. So we knew our bigs were going to be important tonight, and they did a great job plugging it up, getting deflections, getting steals, and making it hard for them to score.
On being more aggressive on the perimeter with strong protection in the paint:It’s a situation where we’ve got a big guy in Marc [Gasol]. So we can funnel people to him and stay on their hip, but make it tougher for them to get open threes by running them off the line. Obviously Jaren protects the paint really well. We’ve just got to keep him out of foul trouble. We’ve got to keep everybody out of foul trouble this year. But it definitely helps having guys that can defend the paint like that, that you know you have behind you.
- Marc Gasol tallied his fourth double-double on the season with a season-high 20 points and 12 rebounds and sank the winning free throws with 4.6 seconds remaining.
- Jaren Jackson Jr., the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds while blocking three shots.
- Kyle Anderson scored a season-high 14 points on shooting (previous high was 10).
- Mike Conley handed out a game-high eight assists.
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