sports 2 days ago

Denver Nuggets grind out win over Memphis Grizzlies to snap three-game losing skid

The Denver Post — Gina Mizell The Denver Post

Jan. 13--Nikola Jokic gave a matter-of-fact instant analysis of Friday's style of play between his Nuggets and Memphis.

"It was kind of an ugly game," Jokic said. "Not many nice moves. A lot of fouls."

But the Nuggets won't nitpick the end result. Denver used stout defense to grind their way out of a three-game losing skid with an 87-78 win over the Grizzlies at the Pepsi Center.

"It's very key to show us, hey, we don't have to score 100-and-whatever points to win games," said forward Kenneth Faried, who finished with four points and six rebounds. "We can go out there and grind it out and figure it out."

Memphis' point total was the fewest Denver has allowed this season. Just 31 came after intermission, when the Nuggets (22-20) flipped a 15-point first-half deficit into a double-digit fourth-quarter lead. In the process, Denver held Memphis leading scorer Tyreke Evans to 5-of-13 from the floor for 13 points, while all-star big man Marc Gasol needed 19 shots to reach 22 points.

"These are the kind of games that I like," coach Michael Malone said.

BOX SCORE: Nuggets 87, Grizzlies 78

That defensive effort allowed the Nuggets to win while playing at Memphis plodding pace. And to overcome an offensive outing in which they shot 38.6 percent and 7-of-22 from 3-point distance without leading scorer Gary Harris, who missed the game while tending to personal family matters.

Denver closed a 15-point gap with a 22-12 run in the second quarter, then surged ahead for good with 15-7 spurt to begin the third. Nikola Jokic, who finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists, tied the game at 54 with a finish inside over Gasol at the 5:28 mark of the third quarter, then gave Denver the lead for good when he sank two free throws on the Nuggets' next possession.

That lead only grew for Denver in the final quarter, with an alley-oop slam from Malik Beasley to Mason Plumlee making the score 79-66 with 6:15 to play. Memphis never got closer than eight points after that.

"If you're playing that hard, the Basketball Gods are gonna be good to you eventually," said Will Barton, who started at shooting guard in place of Harris and totaled 17 points and five rebounds. "I felt like we stayed with it."

Trey Lyles led a strong bench effort with 16 points and five rebounds. Malone also gave significant time to Faried, Beasley (nine points in 24 minutes) and Richard Jefferson (four points, four rebounds in 19 minutes).

Barton said after Wednesday's stunning home loss to Atlanta that his team needed to create energy from getting stops, rather than only gaining that fuel when the offense is rolling. That lack of intensity was apparent during the Nuggets' 2-4 stretch entering Friday, which included troubling losses to a Philadelphia team playing without young star Joel Embiid and on the road against a Sacramento squad playing without leading scorer Zach Randolph.

Friday's win was the first step in creating that mentality, which will immediately be put to the test again when they play at San Antonio Saturday on the second night of a back-to-back set.

Jokic knows the win was ugly. But the Nuggets ground their way out of a three-game losing skid.

"We're gonna take it," Jokic said. "A win is a win."

Popular In the Community



Trump denies he described African nations as "shithole countries"



He was an ignorant racist before, he is an ignorant racist now. Nothing new to see here.

Colorado Democrats denounce Trump's "shithole" comments while honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. with a resolution



Most immigrants from those "sh..hole countries" agree with Trump that they are.

Responses to President Trump's vulgar comments on immigration (7 letters)



I wonder how six of the seven letter writers would feel about this quote by that paragon of virtue, Teddy Kennedy. "Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia..." It would not be much of a leap to replace deprived nations with s*#&hole nations. Now, we have a record of Kennedy saying what he said. All we have on what President Trump said is allegations and a denial, though he did admit to using tough words. I will gladly change my tune if someone can supply more than he said, he said.

Plunkett: As the bulk of The Denver Post leaves the city, we're so over working for free



I have 2 kids and make about 35 grand a year. No way am I spending .25% of my yearly income on a newspaper subscription. BTW, I drink several cups of coffee a day and spend less than $10 a month on it by making my own. Unsurprising that the DP is out of touch with the working class. Not everybody measures value in $5 Lattes.

Teens are daring each other to eat Tide pods. We don't need to tell you that's a bad idea.



Kids..... DO NOT LISTEN TO ADULTS!!! Eating Tide pods is a absolutely fantastic idea . Drinking battery acid is fun too!!!

Abortion foes came out by the thousands to Colorado's Capitol this weekend

Henk Vandenbergh


The world needs more unwanted children; it is so much fun for them.

It's our duty to learn from the death of Deputy Zackari Parrish



Time has come for Colorado and this nation to find a way to keep guns, especially assault rifles, out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminally inclined.And in the minds of the Progressives that would involve banning them for everyone. Right?

Chelsea Manning files to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland



Bradley Manning would be an excellent Democratic Senator, no pretense of patriotism possible with him. And he would fit in perfectly with Maryland politics.

Hawaii officials mistakenly warn of inbound missile



I don't think liberal means what you think it means. That's OK you're kind of fanciful anyway, really, in an entertaining way, after all these posts one just can't take you seriously. Had an uncle like that, always going on about leprechauns and warning us, to be careful, once the doctors increased his medication, his agitation subsided. Just a thought, trying to help, you might be more stable if someone reviewed your meds.

Your response to Trump's racist comment will be remembered



Every future reference to him should include this pattern and its significance. Example -- Donald Trump, the racist, spoke at a rally ...Decent people wore out their patience long ago over his history of ignorant comments.

Trump's denial of vulgar comment confirms the worst



His presidency has been one denial after another. Even the dimmest of people eventually figure it out.

Porn star was paid $130,000 to keep quiet about a relationship with Trump, Wall Street Journal reports



Well there's some 2 Corinthians family values for you, right there. Cheating on your stripper wife with a porn star -- the drooling voters must be giving you a 'pants at half mast' salute. Bravo....and America weeps.

Kickin' it with Kiz: In the NFL today, can a running back lead the Broncos back to the playoffs?



How much do you think a 4-5 year college education costs? Probably close to 100k at most D1 schools, at least, they are getting paid right now. As most players might not be able to afford that cost or walk out of school with $$$$$ of debt, they are getting a great deal. If they suck and don't try, they are still guaranteed the cost of education at many D1 schools, nobody talks about that. Do I think they should get a little more of a stipend, sure, but don't tell me they should be getting 600k. Remember it isn't like the NCAA is paying the players, it is the schools and many state schools don't have that kind of money.

California man shoots his mom in the head during tantrum over video games, police say



People have been killed over food not made the way the killer wanted it. Does that mean food is to blame?Sheesh.

Another country has banned boiling live lobsters. Some scientists wonder why.



lobsters must be knocked out -- either by electric shock or "mechanical destruction" of the brainsounds way more



(c)2018 The Denver Post

Visit The Denver Post at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.