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Nuggets Fall Behind Grizzlies
DENVER (AP) Marc Gasol scored 24 points, Mike Conley had 18 and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the short-handed Denver Nuggets 119-99 on Wednesday night.
Memphis led for most of the game and won its third in a row.
Emmanuel Mudiay had 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds in his return to the Nuggets lineup. Denver came into the game without Nikola Jokic (left hip flexor strain) and Will Barton (left ankle soreness) and then lost two more players before the night ended.
Point guard Jameer Nelson was ejected just 4:07 into the game, leaving the Nuggets with three guards, and leading scorer Danilo Gallinari exited late in the third quarter with a left groin strain.
The Grizzlies took advantage of a tired Nuggets team that lost on the road to the Lakers on Tuesday. They led by 16 in the first half and increased it to 19 in the third when Gasol had 10 points.
Memphis stretched the lead to 25 midway through the fourth quarter.
Grizzlies: The last time Memphis won three in a row was when it reeled off five straight from Dec. 1-10. The last of those was a 21-point win over Golden State. ... G Wade Baldwin IV was assigned to the Iowa Energy of the D League on Tuesday.
Nuggets: Barton had an MRI done on his injured left ankle but the results weren't announced. He missed 11 games in two different stretches earlier this season with a left ankle injury. ... The Nuggets were held below 100 points for the first time in 12 games.
Memphis coach David Fizdale was around Nuggets forward Mike Miller for three seasons when they were both with the Miami Heat and even back then he saw the makings of a coach - or more.
"Mike is a super-high IQ player and guys always like him," Fizdale said. "Mike can do anything he wanted to in basketball. If Mike wanted to be a GM, he can be a GM; if he wanted to coach, he can coach."
Miller has played sparingly in his one-plus season with Denver, but he still is a commanding presence in the locker room. Fizdale said that's because he can relate to anyone.
"Mike Miller just has a brotherly quality about him," Fizdale said. "He relates to everyone; that's the thing that makes him special. No matter what color you are, what year you are in the league, it doesn't matter. He finds a way to connect with his guys."
Grizzlies: At Oklahoma City on Friday night.
Nuggets: Host Milwaukee on Friday night.