MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jaren Jackson Jr. had 22 points, eight rebounds and three blocks while kickstarting a fourth quarter burst by Memphis and the Grizzlies held on to beat the Denver Nuggets 108-106 on Wednesday night.
Ja Morant added 18 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Desmond Bane and Kyle Anderson had 16 points each. Bane’s 3-pointer with 1:19 remaining gave Memphis the lead for good in its second straight victory over the Nuggets.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 34 points and 11 rebounds. Will Barton — who struggled Monday night against Memphis, going 1 for 8 from the field — had 26 points and seven assists and fueled a Denver push after a poor start.
The game was tied at 104 with 3:30 left. Bane’s 3-pointer with 1:19 remaining gave Memphis the lead. Jokic scored inside to cut it to 107-106. Morant split a pair of free throws with 10.6 seconds to play for a 108-106 Grizzlies lead.
Jokic had a chance for a tie in the closing seconds, but his 11-footer bounced off the rim as the horn sounded.
The start was so bad for the Nuggets that coach Michael Malone called two timeouts in the first five minutes, the second to make an almost complete line change, taking out all of the starters except for Jokic.
Denver was 8 of 27 from 3-point range, while Memphis was 16 of 34.
Nuggets: Jokic went down holding his knee in the first quarter after a collision under the basket. It was the same right knee that caused him to leave the Utah game last month. He returned and finished the game. … Michael Porter Jr. missed all three of his 3-pointers and is 1 for 18 from outside the arc over his past four game. … Have allowed 100 points in three games this season — all losses, two to Memphis and the other to Utah.
Grizzlies: Morant had five assists in the first quarter, the 20th straight game he has had at least five assists in a game. … Rookie Ziaire Williams was 4 of 8, including 3 of 7 from outside the arc, for 11 points.