|6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CTNaN:� , January 12, 2018
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado Attendance: 15,607
Nuggets aim to recover vs. Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies at Denver Nuggets
- This will be the fourth straight game in this series played on Denver's home floor; the Nuggets defeated the Grizzlies 104-92 at Denver on November 24. The victory snapped their three-game losing streak in this series.
- The Grizzlies have split their last four road games after dropping the previous 10. Memphis has put up 105+ points in each of these last four road contests after doing so in just two of its first 15 games away from home this season.
- The Nuggets are averaging 11.5 offensive rebounds per game, which is second most in the league this season (OKC, 11.8). This has helped them get a league-leading 15.0 second chance PPG.
- Marc Gasol is shooting a career-low 41.8 percent from the field this season. After making 50+ percent of his field-goal attempts in each of his first three NBA seasons, Gasol is on pace to shoot less than 50 percent for a seventh consecutive year.
- The Nuggets are 11-3 (.786) this season when Nikola Jokic has recorded a double-double in a game. That is tied for the fifth best win percentage among players with 10+ double-doubles in 2017-18. Jokic had 28 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in Denver's November 24 win over the Grizzlies.
- Gary Harris has accounted for 22.5 (71/316) percent of the Nuggets' total steals this season. That is the third-highest percentage for any player.
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Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone was upset after his team allowed 40 points off 26 turnovers in a loss Sacramento on Saturday night, and more accepting of another one at Golden State two nights later.
Falling to the NBA champions after playing hard is understandable. What isn't is his team losing to the worst team in the league, at home, when it comes at the end of a five-game road trip for the Atlanta Hawks, who handed the Nuggets a 110-97 loss Wednesday.
The good news is Denver doesn't have to wait long to try to atone for its effort from Wednesday.
The Nuggets (21-20) host the Memphis Grizzlies, a Western Conference team struggling nearly as much as Atlanta.
"I'm not going to use the word embarrassing because that would be disrespectful to Atlanta," Malone said. "You've got to give them credit. They came in here and beat us. But for us to come out with the lack of energy, lack of a sense of urgency was really disappointing. At the end of the day I put this loss on me."
Like the Hawks, the Grizzlies (13-27) are coming off a win over a playoff hopeful in the New Orleans Pelicans.
Memphis has started to play well after a tough stretch in which it lost 19 of 21 games. Since then, the Grizzlies are 4-4, including a 105-102 win over New Orleans on Wednesday night.
It was a rare close win for Memphis, and it came after a four-day break it the schedule that helped the team iron out some issues.
"We talked about it was kind of a minicamp for us, but it was much-needed," center Marc Gasol told The Memphis Commercial Appeal after Wednesday's win. "Obviously, in the month of December, we had so many games and so little time to practice. Once you have that little window to practice, you have to take advantage of it. Obviously, there's the downside where you might be a little tired and you might be a little gassed. But it was completely worth it and needed."
The Grizzlies, perennial playoff participants, appear headed to the lottery but have a sliver of hope of reaching the postseason. They're seven games out of the No. 8 seed and could get guard Mike Conley (Achilles) and forward Chandler Parsons (right knee) back from injury.
Denver has dealt with injuries all season, and got some good news this week about forward Paul Millsap. Millsap, who had surgery to repair ligament damage in his left wrist, had his cast removed this week and has started some light workouts.
The hope is he can return soon after the All-Star break, but the timetable is fluid.
Getting the power forward back in the lineup could help center Nikola Jokic, who has had three tough games in his last four. After averaging 18.4 points in eight December games, he is averaging just 12.2 in five January games. He scored eight points each against Utah and Sacramento, and against Atlanta he was 4 of 21 from the field, missed all eight of his 3-pointers and finished with nine points. He did get 12 rebounds and seven assists but has struggled while playing some power forward with center Mason Plumlee.
Jokic wasn't the only one who struggled against the lowly Hawks.
Only Gary Harris, who was 11-for-14 shooting for a game-high 25 points, hit better than 50 percent from the field among the top rotation players.
Considering where the Nuggets were last year, below .500 and scratching to get into playoff position, they are not panicking yet.
"Look, look, look, we're 21-20," Harris said. "It could be a lot worse."
Updated January 11, 2018