Trailing by seven points at the end of the third period, the
Nuggets outscored the Grizzlies 24-15 in the fourth quarter and
were up by five points with just over 1 minute left to play.
"I think Memphis, when you get back and tie it up, they start
getting a little tight," said Denver coach George Karl, who has
led the Nuggets to an 18-2 record since the All-Star break.
The Grizzlies got off one final shot at the buzzer but Brian
Cardinal's 3-point attempt was wide right and missed the rim.
Memphis went 1-for-13 from 3-point range in the second half.
"That's what they do. They shoot the 3-pointer. It just happens
that tonight, they didn't shoot the ball well," Denver's Andre
The Nuggets took over sole possession of seventh place in the
Western Conference, dropping the Grizzlies a game behind in eighth.
Miller had 18 points, while Marcus Camby added 14 more for
"Take your pick on what we did wrong tonight," Memphis coach
Mike Fratello said. "We missed too many free throws, didn't block
out and played questionable defense. Our biggest thing was we took
eight, nine or 10 consecutive jump shots at one point. We just kept
The Grizzlies have lost four of their past five games at home.
"Everybody on this team expects to be in the playoffs. I think
that's why everybody is stressing so hard, missing free throws and
messing up little things," the Grizzlies' Lorenzen Wright said.
"Sometimes when you try so hard, bad things happen to you."
The Grizzlies hit 86 percent, 12-of-14, from the free-throw line
in the first half, but were 7-of-15 in the final two periods.
"Ten missed free throws. We make half of those, ballgame
over," Wright said. "Just free throws and those are free."
Martin, who returned from a four-game layoff because of a chest
bruise, put in 28 minutes as a reserve.
"I felt good," Martin said. "The time off not only helped my
collarbone but my knee. I'm a little tired, but I'll take being
tired for a win."
The Grizzlies are 2½ games ahead of Minnesota for the
playoffs. ... The Grizzlies announced the 17th sellout crowd of the
season. ... Memphis G-F James Posey remained sidelined with a
bruised right hip. Denver G-F Greg Buckner was out with a fracture
in his right hand. ... The Nuggets have a 3-0 advantage over
Memphis for the season and are 26-13 overall against the Grizzlies.
... Memphis G Williams hit a 3 pointer late in the first quarter
after 12 straight misses from outside the arc, dating back to March