This is why we can’t have nice things, Memphis!!!
Alright, maybe it’s not that dire. The Grizzlies were always going to lose again, and probably lose a lot more games. They definitely weren’t going to end the season with one loss. Even the greatest team in NBA history, with the greatest player in NBA history lost 10 games and another three in the playoffs.
To make matters worse, the Grizzlies faced a desperate Nuggets team that hasn’t gotten off to the fast start that they hoped they would with their new superstar, Andre Iguodala. Despite their record, the Nuggets are a good team that played better last night.
Denver led at the end of the first and second quarters, but had fallen behind in the 4th quarter, before Danilo Gallinari’s 26 point night helped the Nuggets pull out a huge road win. Before the game, the Grizzlies had won 15 straight home games.
Gallinari had been going through a prolonged shooting slump entering the game on Monday night, but broke out in a big way. His three-pointer late in the 4th quarter pretty much decided the game, as it put the Nuggets up 96-92 and left the Grizzlies needing two scores in a short amount of time.
As for the Grizzlies, Zach Randolph had yet another double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, but shot just 6-15 from the field. That’s a far cry from his usual repertoire of shots in the paint and short jumpers.
Rudy Gay added an uber-efficient 22 points on just 13 shots as well as his string of good play continued against a team that will almost definitely be in the Western Conference playoff hunt until the end of the season.
Most of the stats were about even or seemed to favor the Grizzlies, except for rebounding. Denver grabbed a total of 47 rebounds to the Grizzlies’ 33. That’s something that generally doesn’t happen to Memphis, but did on this night as second year power forward Kenneth Faried grabbed as many boards as Randolph, equalizing an area where the Grizzlies usually dominate. If everything else is roughly the same, but one team dominates a single area, the dominating team usually pulls the win out.
The Grizzlies’ usually solid bench squad was outplayed for just the second time all year as well. No player off of the bench logged a positive plus/minus as the Nuggets’ second unit, led by Andre Miller and Javale McGee, carried the starters for crucial stretches.
The Grizzlies will look to get back on track on Friday night at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.