Cold Night for the Grizzlies: Denver 131-Memphis 114.


  • Sharon Brown

The Shirelles' top-ten hit, told us, "Mama said there'd be days like this," and it was true for the young Grizzlies on Sunday night before the home crowd.

The Denver Nuggets ended Memphis' three-game win streak in a decisive fashion, 131-114. Before the blowout loss, the Grizzlies had won four of their last six outings.

After three exciting wins — ruining Tony Parker's retirement ceremony by downing the Spurs; last-minute heroics by Ja Morant in Charlotte; wrecking Mike Conley's homecoming by defeating the Utah Jazz — the Grizzlies just went cold. 

And that about sums it up for the home team. Jamal Murray put on a show and the Grizzlies paid for it dearly. Murray had a bad game against the Brooklyn Nets on November 14th. In that game, he only scored four points, going 1-of-11 from the field.

It was different story Sunday night, as Murray got the first nine points for Denver. Murray ended with 39 points (season-high), four rebounds, and eight assists in 31 minutes of play with zero turnovers. Murray had the "it factor" and the Grizzlies had no answer for him.
The only person who stopped Murray was Denver Coach Mike Malone, who set him down for the entire fourth quarter. 


The Nuggets went on a 34–6 run (including a 24–2 run) to turn an eight-point deficit (36–28) early in the second quarter into a 20-point lead (62–42) with 2:48 left before halftime.
Denver outscored the Grizzlies in the second quarter 44-17. The game got out of hand in the third period, when Denver got up by as many as 33 points.  

Jaren Jackson Jr. led the Grizzlies with 22 points and five rebounds, setting a career-high by going 5-of-7 from three-point range.

Brandon Clarke had a perfect night from the field, going 8-of-8, ending up with 19 points. Prior to the Nuggets game, Clarke ranked first among all NBA rookies at 61.5 percent shooting on the year.

Jonas Valanciunas added 16 points (including 12 in the first quarter) and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes for his eighth double-double of the season and 12th straight game in double-figure scoring. 

Paul Millsap put together a season-high-tying 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting (.727) and registered a season-high in steals, with five.

What They Said
Head coach Taylor Jenkins

On the game:

“Tough one for us today. We didn’t start the way that we needed to. Down 7–0, we got a bucket but our energy to start wasn’t quite there. But, credit to our guys. We kind of flipped the script after that first timeout and we ended up taking an 11-point lead. But, tons of credit to the Nuggets. They raised their level to an elite level, and our guys just couldn’t really catch that second gear. It just wasn’t our day today. So, a lot of credit to the Nuggets, especially in that second quarter. We tried to claw back here and there, but that second quarter kind of got away from us. And as we’ve experienced throughout the year so far when these moments happen, how can we just kind of face some of that adversity. But, credit the Nuggets. That’s a heck of a team and a great learning opportunity for our young team.”

On De’Anthony Melton:

“Tons of credit goes to De’Anthony. We’ve talked about him constantly staying prepared with his individual work, his G League assignments. I’m super happy with where he’s at. He made an impact immediately, kind of coming in defensively and getting his hands on a couple of balls, shooting with confidence, making plays for his teammates, had a great pass to Brandon Clarke for a roll dunk. So, I’m really impressed with him and he’s definitely going to be someone who will make an impact for our team at some point.”

On whether he thinks Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. are where they need to be defensively:

“Not just them, but everyone, we’ve got a long way to go. I mean, the nights where we’re giving up 130 points, that’s not the scenario that we want to set. We talked all along how they can be impactful on both ends of the floor. I think Ja has been taking some big strides the last week or so, but tonight was a tough match. Jamal Murray is a heck of a player. But, trying to unleash their activity, (Jaren) blocking shots and rebounding, he’s starting to find his comfort and all that stuff. Tonight was not indicative of what they can be defensively, but I think all of us as a team have big steps that we have to take on that end.”

The Infie 500
Up Next

The Grizzlies will host the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. Tip-off at 7 pm CST.

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