MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Denver Nuggets 100-92 Friday night at FedExForum as they won their 11th straight home game.
Memphis (45-31) was coming off a 2-3 road trip and is in a battle with Dallas and Phoenix for the last two playoff spots in the Western Conference.
Center Marc Gasol led Memphis with 24 points. Point guard Mike Conley scored 21 and power forward Zach Randolph had his 44th double-double of the season with 20 points and 15 rebounds, plus four assists and three blocks.
Denver (33-43) had stretched its four-point halftime lead to a 52-43 advantage less than a minute into the third quarter after a jumper from forward Kenneth Faried (17 points and 12 rebounds) and a 3-pointer from guard Aaron Brooks (11 points).
But when forward Quincy Miller bricked a fast-break dunk at the 10:39 mark in the third quarter, it started a momentum change. From that point until 4:15 was left in the game, the Grizzlies outscored Denver 47-24 and stretched the lead to 90-76.
The Nuggets cut the lead to four with 52 seconds to play, but got no closer.
Memphis overcame Denver’s 46-38 edge in rebounds and 19-9 advantage in fast-break points. The Grizzlies scored 17 points off 20 Denver turnovers. Both teams shot below 40 percent.
Point guard Ty Lawson scored 16 points for Denver, but went down hard going to the basket near game’s end, and after shooting free throws, limped off to the locker room. Shooting guard Randy Foye led Denver with 21 points and nine rebounds.
The Grizzlies opened fast, running out to a 14-2 start. But from the 6:23 mark in the second quarter, when Memphis led 32-31, until the 1:55 mark, the Nuggets went on a 14-5 run to go up 45-37.
Memphis closed the half on a 6-2 run to make the halftime score Denver 47-43. Lawson scored 15 points through the first 20 minutes, going 9-for-10 from the free-throw line.
Gasol had 17 first-half points (seven from the stripe) and Tayshaun Prince scored 12 points before leaving the game with a sprained left ankle.
NOTES: Nuggets PG Ty Lawson did not start Friday night. He was disciplined by coach Brian Shaw for reportedly being late to a team breakfast meeting. G Aaron Brooks started in Lawson’s place. … Memphis SG Courtney Lee is shooting a career-best 49.1 percent from the floor this season. Before Friday, the Grizzlies were 29-13 since acquiring Lee in a deal with the Boston Celtics. … The Grizzlies finished their five-game road trip 2-3, losing the last game at Minnesota on Monday as PF Kevin Love had a triple-double and Memphis PG Mike Conley and PF Zach Randolph were a combined 4-for-23 from the field with 11 points. … On March 31 at Denver, the Nuggets outscored Memphis 24-19 in the fourth quarter but the Grizzlies held on for a 94-92 victory. … Since March 1, Denver F Kenneth Faried is averaging 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds heading into Friday’s game.
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