Postgame Report: Grizzlies suffer tough loss to Nuggets 103-102
Key Stat of the Night
- Denver outscored Memphis 15-9 in points off turnovers and 23-7 in fast break points
Key Run of the Night
- Memphis took the lead at 93-92 following a dunk from Brandon Clarke with 3:13 to play in the game… Following Clarke’s basket, the Nuggets connected on three 3-pointers in their next four possessions to take a two-possession lead (101-97) with 1:12 remaining in the game.
The Memphis Grizzlies suffered a dramatic 103-102 loss to Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Friday at FedExForum, dropping to 17-17 for the season.
Jokic tallied a double-double with 28 points and 15 rebounds with seven assists. Will Barton and Michael Porter Jr. scored 21 points each.
Brandon Clarke and Dillon Brooks led the Grizzlies with 20 points each. Ja Morant put together 16 points and nine assists and Jonas Valanciunas recorded his 22nd double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The two teams were evenly matched early as the Nuggets ran their offense through MVP candidate Jokic and the Grizzlies thrived from beyond the 3-point line. The Grizzlies were 5-for-9 from beyond the arc in the first quarter led by Clarke, who poured in 12 points off the bench on 4-for-5 shooting.
The Grizzlies returned to old reliable in the second quarter, scoring 20 points in the paint, but the Nuggets made sure the lead never got out of hand as Jokic went into halftime with 17 points and seven rebounds. Clarke’s 16 points led the Grizzlies and Valanciunas had 10 points and seven rebounds in the half.
The Grizzlies struggled to score throughout the third quarter while the Nuggets used a 22-9 run to build a 12-point lead, but a quick 8-0 run at the end of the quarter, included a 42-foot buzzer beater by Morant, gave the Grizzlies the momentum heading into the final 12 minutes.
That momentum translated into the fourth quarter as Morant took matters into his own hands, attacking the rim and creating points for others. With the Nuggets leading by only one point, Clarke rejected Jokic’s shot attempt to set up a final possession for the Grizzlies, but Morant could not get the basket to go against a heavy contest from Jokic.
The Grizzlies will face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, March 14 at Chesapeake Energy Areana. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT
- Jonas Valančiūnas posted his 22nd double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds on 7-of-10 shooting… Valančiūnas has now recorded 22 double-doubles in 29 games this season… Valančiūnas' double-double rate (.759) would set a franchise record for a single season (Zach Randolph, .718 in 2010-11).
- Brandon Clarke totaled 20 points, four rebounds, three blocks and one assist on 8-of-14 shooting… This marked Clarke’s second 20-point performance of the season… In his last 15 games, Clarke has shot 59.8 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from 3-point range.
- Dillon Brooks totaled a team high-tying 20 points, three rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes.
- Ja Morant posted 16 points, four rebounds and nine assists in 34 minutes… Morant has averaged 8.6 assists per game in the Grizzlies’ last five games.