Postgame Report: Nuggets snap Grizzlies’ win streak, win 120-96
Key Stat of the Night
- Ja Morant tallied 27 points (10-15 FG), six rebounds and six assists in 30 minutes. This is Morant’s fifth career game with 27+ points, 6+ rebounds and 6+ assists (2-3), with two of those losses coming vs. Denver.
Key Run of the Night
- Michael Porter Jr. scored 11 points in the second quarter as the Nuggets threatened to pull away, but Ja Morant kept the lead to five heading into the locker room at halftime.
The Denver Nuggets handled the Memphis Grizzlies to win 120-96 on Monday night.
Michael Porter Jr. went 12-for-19 to score 31 points and seven rebounds while Nikola Jokic went for 24 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. Aaron Gordon added 15 points and five rebounds.
Ja Morant produced most of the Grizzlies’ offense with 27 points, six rebounds and six assists. Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and three assists while Jaren Jackson Jr. continued to contribute off the bench with 10 points and five rebounds.
The Nuggets got out to an early 21-18 lead in the first quarter as Jokic scored eight points with eight rebounds. Porter Jr. scored 11 points in the second quarter as the Nuggets threatened to pull away, but Morant kept the lead to five heading into the locker room at halftime. Morant led the Grizzlies with 16 points while Jokic tallied a first-half double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Porter Jr. added 15 points and five rebounds.
The Nuggets stretched the lead to 85-75 at the end of the third quarter after an 11-2 run, then solidified the lead with a 24-9 run in the fourth quarter, coasting to a victory. The Nuggets held the Grizzlies to 21 points in the final period to bring Memphis’ record to 31-29.
The Grizzlies return to FedExForum after a seven-game road trip for another matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. CT.
On if he considers this to be a successful road trip:Absolutely, it’s been a great road trip and we look forward to more great basketball moving forward.
On the excitement of returning home to their families after this extended road trip:I’m very excited, our families mean so much to us. Excited to go back and be with our close ones and our loved ones for sure.
On the performance of his second unit tonight:Yeah, a lot of great versatility, still more to learn. [I'm] loving the defensive activity and still finding our offensive chemistry, but so far, really good.
On what he has been focusing on offensively:Just continuing to get to my spots. Once we secure the rebound defensively, get out and run in transition in space; either get to the high quad or all the way in the corner and give whoever is pushing the ball some space and be spotted up. Whenever guys are coming off pick and rolls or driving, just continue to move or be available.
On having their full roster available:It’s really nice. We have a really deep team, so it’s nice to be finally at full health for the first time in the year. I think, even though tonight’s game didn’t really go how we wanted it to, I think that’s going to be big for us going forward. The more minutes and more game time we can get with all guys healthy and all guys in the rotation; looking at different rotations and different lineups is going to be good for us.
On the team having so many versatile two-way players in their lineup:It feels great, this is a two-way game. A lot of the focus is on the offensive end, but defensively, we need guys that want to take that challenge and play together as a unit. It’s a lot of fun, we pride ourselves on moving the ball and just like I said, having fun on that second unit; getting stops, running, shooting shots with confidence. Getting Jaren [Jackson Jr.] back out there with B.C. [Brandon Clarke], Melt [De’Anthony Melton], Des [Desmond Bane], it’s a lot of high energy guys, so it’s always fun to be out there with them.
On being asked to run the point guard position from time to time:The last Denver game, Coach Brad Jones came to me and said 'we’re going to put you at point guard second half'. That’s about it, that’s enough preparation for me. It’s something I’m comfortable with, something that they’ve seen in workouts and in practice; me handling the ball, making the right plays. So, that’s as much as that conversation kind of went, but it’s basketball man. As far as rotation, guys making switches in and out of the lineup, that’s part of this league. Guys can be playing great, next thing you know, somebody can be added and you’re out of the rotation. So, that’s part of this league, part of greatness is being able to adjust and adapt on the fly; that’s part of this game. So, I don’t want to think anyone is taking it personal, you’ve just got to be ready. You never know, like you said, this is damn near the playoffs for us. You never know when your name is going to be called, so you’ve always got to get ready; you’ve got to stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready.
- Ja Morant produced most of the Grizzlies’ offense with 27 points, six rebounds and six assists.
- Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and three assists.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. continued to contribute off the bench with 10 points and five rebounds.