Memphis Grizzlies loss to Denver Nuggets
Less than a minute later, the Grizzlies led by 10 after Dillon Brooks made a midrange jumper and turned towards the Denver Nuggets' courtside section.
Denver started playing like it needed a win to make the playoffs, while the Grizzlies looked like they had already clinched the No. 2 seed.
The Nuggets overcame a double-digit deficit in the final two minutes to defeat the Grizzlies 122-109 at Ball Arena.
The Nuggets (48-33) went on a 17-3 run in the first quarter and never trailed. Memphis (55-25) shot 9-17 from 3-point range in the first half.
However, the defence struggled against Nikola Jokic and his teammates.
Jaren Jackson Jr. accidentally elbowed Jokic in the head in the first quarter, causing most of the Grizzlies' early damage.
When he returned, the offence exploded, shooting 61.5 percent in the first half.
A Nuggets loss would have reduced their chances of making the postseason. Rarely do the Grizzlies lose to the Heat in hustle stats like they did on Thursday.
Memphis went the entire first half without a fastbreak. The Grizzlies were also outrebounded 42-39 and scored less in the paint.
The Grizzlies have two games left and must win both to secure the best record in franchise history. They play the Pelicans on Saturday and the Celtics on Sunday.
Before the game, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said the team hopes All-Star point guard Ja Morant can play in one of the last two games.
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