National Basketball Association
Denver at Memphis
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 17, 2018
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
The Denver Nuggets are a game out of a playoff spot in the wild Western Conference race as they begin a season-high seven-game road trip Saturday at the Memphis Grizzlies. The Nuggets won their only home game in a 19-day span with Thursday's 120-113 victory over the Detroit Pistons, riding another triple-double by Nikola Jokic to a much-needed triumph.
"We've got to figure out a way to buckle down," guard Jamal Murray said of the win, which saw Denver lose most of a 26-point lead before finishing off the Pistons. "We can't get complacent, get relaxed. We've got to take every possession the same." The Nuggets have split their last 10 contests and entered Friday among seven teams separated by 2 1/2 games and fighting for five playoff spots in the West. The Grizzlies have lost 19 in a row and the latest - a 111-110 setback at home to Chicago on Thursday - was tough to swallow, as the Bulls hit two free throws with 1.8 seconds left. "It's just another one," center Marc Gasol told reporters. "But I thought we did a better job. We looked more like a team. At least we were more consistent." TV:
8 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), FS Southeast (Memphis)ABOUT THE NUGGETS (38-31):
Jokic has recorded five of his eight triple-doubles in the last 13 contests as he takes his game to another level. "It's not quiet -- you're so used to it," Murray said of Jokic's recent performances. "It's something you shouldn't be surprised by him doing." Jokic needs one more triple-double to match Fat Lever's franchise record for a season, accomplished in 1988-89, but he was held to nine points, nine rebounds and five assists in a rocky showing at Memphis earlier this month.ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (18-50):
Point guard Tyreke Evans returned from a lengthy absence due to a rib injury to produce 25 points and nine assists against Chicago, but he bumped Bulls rookie Antonio Blakeney in the closing moments, leading to the decisive free throws. "We played hard. Both teams played hard," Evans told reporters. "We knocked down some shots, but at the end, I made a (stupid) foul, and that's on me." Gasol added 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Memphis matched its best offensive output since the All-Star break.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Grizzlies SF Dillon Brooks is averaging 19.3 points over his last six games to boost his season mark to 9.9.
2. Denver is 11-21 on the road - the worst record among West playoff contenders - and is just 5-17 away from home against conference opponents.
3. Murray is 11-for-33 from the floor in three games - all wins - over the Grizzlies this season.PREDICTION:
Nuggets 109, Grizzlies 103
Stats and Records