NBA Game Summary - Denver at Memphis
(Saturday, March 13th)
Final Score: Denver 125, Memphis 108
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - J.R. Smith scored 16 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, as the Denver Nuggets used a huge final period to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies, 125-108.
Smith made 11-of-16 field goals, including a 7-for-10 performance from beyond the arc, to give the Nuggets their sixth straight victory. Denver sits atop the Northwest Division standings, 2 1/2 games ahead of idle Utah.
"I got it going, but the most important thing was that we got it going as a team," Smith said. "We got out in the open court, (and we got some easy shots)."
Carmelo Anthony donated 24 points and six rebounds, while Chauncey Billups ended with 22 points. Nene donated 13 for the Nuggets, who outscored Memphis, 40-23, in the fourth.
O.J. Mayo finished with 25 points for the Grizzlies, who saw a three-game win streak come to an end. Memphis is 4 1/2 games behind idle Portland for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
Zach Randolph tallied 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Marc Gasol added 17 points, seven boards, and six assists in defeat.
Trailing 72-65 with 8 1/2 minutes to play in the third, Denver ripped off seven straight points. Billups' three-point play deadlocked the score at 72- all with under six minutes left. The score was 85-85 after three periods.
The Nuggets took control in the fourth, scoring the first 12 points of the stanza. Smith made a pair of three-pointers during the run, including a trey to make it 97-85 with 9 1/2 minutes to go.
"It's 85-85 going into the fourth, and they just went on a tear on us," Mayo said. "Then we kind of dropped our heads too soon. We played hard for 36 minutes, then let the fourth quarter get away from us."
Ahead 107-95 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining, the Nuggets put together a 14-2 burst to build a 121-97 margin.
The Grizzlies held a 33-24 lead after 12 minutes of action, but the Nuggets were able to trim the deficit to six, 63-57, at the half.
The Nuggets played their third consecutive game without head coach George Karl, who is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy to combat throat and neck cancer...The Grizzlies snapped an eight-game series skid to Denver with a 102-96 win in Memphis back in December...The Nuggets shot 58.8 percent from the field, while the Grizzlies made 50 percent of their shots...Billups also had four assists to become the seventh active NBA player to record 5,000 assists.
03/14 01:15:48 ET