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Nuggets Pull out Win vs. Grizzlies, Snap Losing Streak

In their first home game in almost two weeks, the Denver Nuggets defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 105-99 to snap a two-game losing streak.

In a matchup that pitted the NBA’s 5th (Denver) and 11th-rated defenses (Memphis) against each other, a pair of 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions late in the fourth quarter, put the Nuggets ahead for good.

“I knew this was going to be a tough game,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone of the Grizzlies, who defeated Denver earlier in the season. We just came off a long road trip. We’re banged up, missing bodies, but we were able to put together a win.”

First, Nuggets reserve point guard Monte Morris drained a triple from the corner with 5:22 to go to put his team ahead one. Then, 43 seconds later, small forward Juancho Hernangómez drained one from nearly the same spot on the floor put Denver up 96-92.

Seven-foot center Nikola Jokić looked to score early and often for the Nuggets (18-9), scoring 19 of his game-high 27 points in the first half and finished with 12 rebounds and adding six assists.

Morris also had a standout performance. Helping pick up the scoring load for a team playing without three of its Opening Night starters, (Will Barton, Gary Harris and Isaiah Thomas), the 6-3 Iowa State product, equaled his career high, scoring 20 points on 8-12 shooting to go along with five rebounds and as many assists in 28 minutes.

“I think Monte Morris was the MVP of the game, Malone said. “He was phenomenal tonight. His floor game, his shotmaking his rebounding, his playmaking. We do not win that game without Monte.”

In his first start of the season, Denver power forward Mason Plumlee posted a double double-double of his own with 12 points and Jamal Murray contributed with 16 points.

Michael Conley Jr. led Memphis (15-11) offensively with 19 points while Shelvin Mack (14) JaMychal Green (13), Omri Casspi (12) also had double-figures in scoring.

The Nuggets out rebounded the Grizzlies 40-34 and outscored them in the paint 54-48.

“Everybody’s stepping up, doing their job,” Nuggets guard Malik Beasley said. “Monte, tonight, was the guy and he really contributed. Shoutout to Jamal Murray, fighting through his nicks and injuries.”

The Nuggets host the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday at 8 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcasted live on Altitude TV and streamed on Altitude NOW.