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Memphis at Denver

Grizzlies beat Nuggets, move into tie for seventh in West

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- The Memphis Grizzlies had a bumpy ride into Denver early Monday. They had a hard landing Monday night and still managed to keep themselves in the thick of the postseason hunt.

Zach Randolph had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Mike Conley added 19 points and the Grizzlies kept pace in the playoff race with a 94-92 win over the Denver Nuggets.

The Grizzlies moved into a three-way tie with Dallas and Phoenix for seventh in the Western Conference. Memphis plays both teams once more - at the Suns on April 14 and home against the Mavericks in the regular-season finale two days later.

The rest of the schedule includes road games at Minnesota and San Antonio, and a home game with Miami, which is battling for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

''We've got to keep playing,'' Randolph said. ''Each game is an important game for us, so we've got to come out with a sense of urgency.''

Courtney Lee scored 19 points for Memphis, which stopped a two-game skid after an adventurous flight from Portland into Denver early Monday morning. The Grizzlies' landing into Denver International Airport was rough thanks to high winds in the area.

''Oh my gosh,'' Randolph said. ''Oh man.''

The Grizzlies also handled the turbulence created by the Nuggets. Randolph said the Grizzlies have to be ready for teams with nothing on the line, especially with every game important in their playoff push.

''A lot of teams is just free-styling, ain't going postseason so they don't care so they're playing freely,'' he said. ''We're playing for something so we've got to come out from the beginning.''

The Nuggets nearly hurt Memphis' playoff chances, coming from seven down in the fourth to make it a last-possession game.

Denver rallied to get within 88-86 on Timofey Mozgov's free throw and the teams traded buckets before Conley banked in a 3-pointer to make it 93-88 with 36 seconds left.

''Mike Conley hit a big shot,'' Memphis coach David Joerger said. ''I thought we did a good job of executing in getting the shots we wanted down the stretch.''

After Randy Foye hit a layup for the Nuggets, Randolph missed a pair of free throws with 8.2 seconds remaining. Denver got the rebound, called a timeout and set up a play for the 7-foot-1 Mozgov at the 3-point line. He missed but then dunked the rebound to get the Nuggets within 93-92.

''We know that I can make 3s,'' Mozgov said. ''We tried. I just missed it. It wasn't good.''

The miss wasn't as costly as Mozgov's decision to dunk his rebound instead of pass it out to a teammate for another attempt to tie the game.

''What surprised me is he didn't kick it back out when he got the dunk,'' Randolph said.

Lee was fouled with 0.7 seconds left, hit the first free throw and deliberately missed the second to end the game. Nuggets coach Brian Shaw didn't think Lee's missed free throw hit the rim and pleaded with the refs to look at the replay. The officials told him it wasn't a reviewable play.

''In a situation where it's a deadball and there's three referees and there's no live action going on, just looking at the free throw, I don't understand why that can't be seen,'' Shaw said.

Mozgov tied a career high with 23 points to go with 10 rebounds and Kenneth Faried had 17 points for the Nuggets, who have dropped four in a row.

The teams play again Friday in Memphis.

The Grizzlies jumped out to 16-point lead in the second quarter on Lee's 13 points. But the Nuggets rallied behind Mozgov, who had seven points in the final 3:01 on three dunks and a free throw to cut Memphis' lead to 47-45 at the break.

Randolph took over late in the third quarter to help Memphis build a 75-68 lead heading into the fourth. Randolph scored 11 of his 13 points in the period in the final 4:16 as the Grizzlies expanded a two-point lead to seven.

Notes

Nuggets F Wilson Chandler missed his fifth straight game with a left groin strain. ... The Grizzlies are 27-11 since Marc Gasol returned from a sprained MCL in his left knee on Jan. 14. ... The Nuggets had just 10 players available for the game.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Zach Randolph provides 20 points and 11 rebounds in the win, which puts Memphis in a three-way tie for seventh place. (USATSI)
Zach Randolph provides 20 points and 11 rebounds in the win, which puts Memphis in a three-way tie for seventh place. (USATSI)
Scoreboard
Memphis (44-30) «2522281994
Denver (32-42)1629232492
MEM:Z. Randolph 20 Pts
MEM:Z. Randolph 11 Reb
MEM:Z. Randolph 3 Ast
DEN:T. Mozgov 23 Pts
DEN:T. Mozgov 10 Reb
DEN:A. Brooks 6 Ast
Players of the Game
MemphisDenver

Zach Randolph

Timofey Mozgov
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
2011323101

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Memphis
Z. Randolph, PF348-154-8113420
C. Lee, SG346-124-673219
M. Gasol, C336-191-382213
M. Conley, PG309-150-022119
T. Prince, SF290-41-24131
K. Koufos, C192-72-36026
N. Calathes, SG184-70-02329
M. Miller, SF171-20-02002
T. Allen, SG161-30-00212
E. Davis, PF101-11-11123
B. Udrih, PGDid Not Play
J. Leuer, PFDid Not Play
J. Johnson, PFDid Not Play
Q. Pondexter, SFDid Not Play
J. Franklin, SGDid Not Play
Totals 38-8513-2343171994
 44.7%56.5% 
Denver
R. Foye, PG406-130-094213
T. Lawson, PG403-92-45628
K. Faried, PF326-145-982217
T. Mozgov, C329-155-7101523
Q. Miller, SF181-20-03013
A. Brooks, PG294-80-006110
E. Fournier, SG172-30-03125
D. Arthur, PF162-50-02025
J. Vesely, PF163-42-43068
N. Robinson, PGDid Not Play
W. Chandler, SFDid Not Play
J. Hickson, PFDid Not Play
A. Randolph, PFDid Not Play
D. Gallinari, SFDid Not Play
J. McGee, CDid Not Play
Totals 36-7314-2443202392
 49.3%58.3% 
Other Games
SA 103 Final
Ind 77
Wash 94 Final
Char 100
Phi 95 Final
Atl 103
Mil 111 Final
Det 116
Tor 83 Final
Mia 93
Sac 102 Final
NO 97
Bos 80 Final
Chi 94
LAC 114 Final
Min 104
NY 92 Final
Utah 83