Morant Scores 13, Grizzlies Fall to Nuggets

MEMPHIS (AP)- Jamal Murray rebounded from a poor shooting night with a season-best 39 points and the Denver Nuggets dominated Memphis in the second quarter en route to a 131-114 victory over the Grizzlies on Sunday.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and Juancho Hernangomez finished with 15. Jeremi Grant added 12 points as Denver won for the sixth time in the last seven, scoring a season high in points.

Jaren Jackson Jr. led Memphis with 22 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers. Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Brandon Clarke finished with 19 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach.

Murray, who made only one of his 11 shots in Thursday’s 101-93 win over Brooklyn, converted his first four shots and finished 14 of 24 on the night, including 7 of 12 from outside the arc.

Murray didn’t play in the fourth quarter after Denver held a 108-80 lead after three.

A promising start offensively for Memphis, led by Valanciunas, eventually turned as the Nuggets’ defense tightened. Ja Morant’s flashy moves in the paint, along with other inside shots by Grizzlies shooters ended up returned by Denver rim protectors.

Denver’s seven blocks, coupled with nine Memphis turnovers in the first half, translated to a 72-49 Nuggets lead at the half. The major damage came in the second quarter with Denver outscoring Memphis 44-17.

Murray already had 26 points to lead Denver, while Valanciunas led Memphis with all of his 16 points in the game.


Nuggets: Gave up 100 points for only the second time in the last seven games. … Will Barton, who was listed as probable after having left adductor tightness against the Nets, started but was limited to six points. … Previous high for points this season was 121 against Atlanta on Nov. 12. … Hernangomez was 5 of 6 from the field, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range.

Grizzlies: Morant scored 13 points. … Valanciunas has reached double figures in 12 straight games. … Memphis had made at least 10 3-pointers in seven straight games, matching the franchise record set in March of last season. … Entered the game leading the NBA with 55 points in the paint per game. Managed only 40 against the Nuggets.

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