Photo: David Zalubowski – The Associated Press
The Nuggets playoff chances took a major hit on Saturday night in Memphis as the Grizzlies were able to snap a 19 game losing streak with a 101-94 victory.
When the Nuggets embarked on their seven game road trip it seemed as if the Grizzlies game would be the teams easiest game of the trip. That wasn’t the case though as the Nuggets suffered one of their worst losses of the season at the hands of the NBA’s worst team. The Grizzlies came in on a franchise record losing streak of 19 games and a record of just 18-50. With the win, it gives the Grizzlies 19 on the season and now puts them in a tie for the worst record in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns.
The Nuggets record now moves to 38-32 and moves them back into the tenth spot in the West. Denver was without Gary Harris who will miss the next couple of games with a knee injury, but theres still no excuse for this type of loss. If the Nuggets really want to be playoff team they have to take care of business against teams that are under .500, and especially against teams that are 31 games under .500. The Grizzlies were able to control the game for all four quarters and stretched their lead to as many as 21 points in the first half. The Nuggets made a run in the second half and eventually tied it, but the deficit the team created was just to big to overcome.
Grizzlies rookie Dillon Brooks was the best player on the floor Saturday night scoring 24 points on 8-17 from the field, 4-9 from behind the three-point line. Brooks killed the Nuggets in the third quarter scoring nine consecutive points to help the Grizzlies stretch their lead back out to 12 after a five point halftime lead. Wayne Seldon and Tyreke Evans also had strong games combining for 36 points on 12-26 from the field. The two also combined to score six three-pointers and were big contributors in the Grizzlies snapping their franchises longest losing streak.
Three-point shooting proved costly for the Nuggets yet again as they were outperformed in that category by over 13 percent. The Nuggets shot just 9-33 from deep, while Memphis was able to shoot 13-32. Denver also went 21-29 from the free-throw line, and those eight missed free-throw proved costly in the end.
The Nuggets are now just 11-22 on the road this season and still have six road games in their current road trip. Miami will be the Nuggets next stop and will be another tough matchup as the Heat currently sit in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Nuggets will still be without Gary Harris for that game and will need someone to step up in what’s going to be a must win on Monday night in Miami.