Jokic and Barton help Nuggets overcome the 25-point deficit to beat Grizzlies


MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets are in the best start in franchise history.

It only took them until the last half of the fourth quarter for them to look like Monday night.

Jokic scored 24 points and jumped to the left with 28.9 seconds, and the Nuggets overcame a 25-point deficit in the second half to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 95-92.

The Nuggets have recovered in the last four and a half minutes and Will Barton, with 43. seconds remaining, gave the Nuggets the first lead of the game by 91-89. After a 3-point return from Memphis's Justin Holiday, Jokic's 7 feet away puts the Denver ahead to stay.

"We just do not give up," Jokic said, adding, "That says something about the team. We do not want to give up.

Malik Beasley scored the third quarter, scoring 13 of his 18 points in the final period. Beasley was critical as the Nuggets erased a deficit of 13 points with a 19-4 blast.

He scored seven points in that stretch and distributed the assist in Barton's basket that completed the rally, giving the Nuggets their first lead of the game.

The 25-point margin was the biggest of the season that the Denver outperformed. The Nuggets were between 77 and 60, entering the quarter, the deficit of 17 points, translating into the second highest return of the fourth quarter of the history of the franchise.

Marc Gasol led the Memphis with 28 points and nine rebounds, and Mike Conley had 23 points and 11 assists. The 25 points were the biggest regular season leader for the Grizzlies.

The atmosphere was a bit gloomy in the Memphis locker room, not only because of the loss, but because of the uncertain future of Gasol and Conley in Memphis, where the two players spent their entire careers. The Grizzlies revealed last week that it would entertain commercial offers for the two, the NBA's oldest colleagues.

Memphis leaves on a trip of three games, not returning home until February 5. Still two days before the deadline, some wondered if this could be the last appearance at home for one or both.

"It's an uncomfortable week for sure," Conley said. "You're feeling like our compliment, people giving us hugs and asking for a last autograph, all those things, and I'm thinking," I did not leave. I'm still here. "


Nuggets: Barton had 20 points. … G Jamal Murray lost his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. … In the previous two times the Nuggets started 33-15 after 48 games – in 1976-77 and 2009-10 – they missed the next game. … The Nuggets had 16 points in the first quarter, one less than a low season for points in a quarter.

Grizzlies: F Kyle Anderson returned to the starting lineup after losing eight games with left ankle sprain suffered on January 12 … F Omri Casspi lost his second match with knee pain. F JaMychal Green was alert with pain in the left knee. The biggest advantage before Monday night was a 23-point lead over the Los Angeles Lakers on April 4, 2003. Conley recorded his seventh double-double of the season


The Nuggets scored at least 70 points in the first half in the last two games, but did not get even close to Memphis. Denver grossed 30 percent in the first quarter, and only made it a little better in the second, finishing up half at 38 percent and losing 60-41 at halftime.

"I joined our team at half-time," said Nuggets coach Michael Malone. "I was not happy.I told beginners," You have five minutes to show them that you want to play, "and in the third quarter I thought we had played with a lot of energy and effort.


Nuggets: Play pelicans in New Orleans on Wednesday night.

Grizzlies: Travel to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.


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