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Gasol's free throws give Grizzlies 89-87 win over Nuggets

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) In a season when NBA teams are scoring more and playing faster on offense, the Memphis Grizzlies are taking the opposite approach - relying on their defense.

That certainly proved successful Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets.

Marc Gasol scored 20 points, including the go-ahead free throws with 4.6 seconds remaining, and Memphis edged the Nuggets 89-87 to end their five-game winning streak.

The Nuggets (9-2) had a chance after Gasol's foul shots, but Nikola Jokic's 3-point attempt bounced off the rim and Denver's rebound tip was also off the mark.

Memphis held the Nuggets to 39 percent shooting, including 8 of 32 from 3-point range. The 87 points were a season low for the Nuggets, and the 176 points combined by the teams tied for the fewest in an NBA game this season.

''We knew it was going to be an ugly game if we were going to have a chance of winning,'' Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said. ''We tried to get in the mud a little bit, be physical defensively and get the pace where we wanted it.''

Jaren Jackson Jr. also had 20 points for Memphis, and Kyle Anderson finished with 14. Gasol grabbed 12 rebounds.

Gary Harris led the Nuggets with 20 points, and Trey Lyles added 16 off the bench. Jamal Murray had 15 points and seven assists after scoring a career-best 48 in Monday night's win over Boston.

Murray shot only 6 of 21 this time.

''I don't know what it was, but the ball didn't like me today,'' Murray said.

Denver was up 83-82 before Memphis took the lead on a 3-pointer by Shelvin Mack with 1:45 left. Conley hit a floater with 40 seconds to go, but Lyles' dunk and a 22-foot jumper by Murray tied it at 87 before Gasol's winning free throws.

Memphis coach J.B. Bickerstaff told his team he wanted to get back to a defensive mentality and force opponents to fight through low-scoring games if they want to beat the Grizzlies.

''That's exactly what this win represents,'' Memphis guard Garrett Temple said. ''Holding this team - as hot as they've been - to 87 points at home ... it was a big win for us.''

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Murray was limited to seven points on 3-of-10 shooting in the first half. He missed his first four 3-pointers before converting one near the 9-minute mark of the third quarter. ... Jokic, who averages 11 shots a game, took just one - his 3-point try in the closing seconds. ''I'll have to look at the tape to see what they are doing for him to only take one shot,'' coach Michael Malone said. ''Obviously, I would like him to take more shots, but right now he isn't shooting the ball and we will have to figure out why.''

Grizzlies: Committed eight turnovers in the first quarter and finished with 18, compared to 19 for Denver. Memphis has had fewer turnovers than its opponent in every game this season. ... The Grizzlies (6-4) are 4-0 at home. . Gasol and Jackson had three blocks each. Jackson also made three steals.

PACE OF PLAY

The game was a contrast of styles, with Memphis relying on its slower-pace defensive approach against a Denver team that entered averaging almost 112 points per game.

''They definitely got us into their game,'' Nuggets reserve center Mason Plumlee said, later adding: ''It was a slow, slow game, so I think that benefited them.''

Conley acknowledged Memphis can score 130 points in a game, but: ''Defensively, I do think this is what you should expect from us.''

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Host the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.

Grizzlies: At the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

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Key Players
N. Jokic
15 C
M. Conley
11 PG
31.0 Min. Per Game 31.0
18.1 Pts. Per Game 18.1
5.8 Ast. Per Game 5.8
3.2 Reb. Per Game 3.2
51.8 Field Goal % 35.8
51.8 Three Point % 36.2
83.9 Free Throw % 83.3
  Jamal Murray missed dunk 0:00
  Offensive rebound by Jamal Murray 0:02
  Nikola Jokic missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:02
+ 1 Marc Gasol made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:04
+ 1 Marc Gasol made 1st of 2 free throws 0:04
  Personal foul on Jamal Murray 0:04
  Offensive rebound by Juancho Hernangomez 0:27
  Trey Lyles missed free throw 0:31
  Shooting foul on Marc Gasol 0:31
+ 2 Trey Lyles made dunk, assist by Jamal Murray 0:31
+ 2 Mike Conley made floating jump shot 0:40
Team Stats
Points 87 89
Field Goals 32-82 (39.0%) 30-70 (42.9%)
3-Pointers 8-32 (25.0%) 8-21 (38.1%)
Free Throws 15-19 (78.9%) 21-25 (84.0%)
Total Rebounds 51 47
Offensive 13 8
Defensive 28 28
Team 10 11
Assists 19 19
Steals 9 7
Blocks 4 7
Turnovers 16 17
Fouls 22 22
Technicals 1 3
15 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST
20 PTS, 12 REB, 4 AST
1234T
away team logo Nuggets 9-2 2918231787
home team logo Grizzlies 6-4 2228201989
Team Stats
away team logo Nuggets 9-2 109.9 PPG 47.7 RPG 24.5 APG
home team logo Grizzlies 6-4 101.8 PPG 38.3 RPG 22.4 APG
Key Players
G. Harris SG 17.1 PPG 3.7 RPG 2.9 APG 42.9 FG%
M. Gasol C 14.8 PPG 8.8 RPG 4.3 APG 41.8 FG%
Top Scorers
G. Harris SG 20 PTS 2 REB 2 AST
M. Gasol C 20 PTS 12 REB 4 AST
39.0 FG% 42.9
25.0 3PT FG% 38.1
78.9 FT% 84.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Harris 32 20 2 2 0 0 3 1 6/16 3/6 5/6 1 1 23 -2
J. Murray 36 15 4 7 1 0 3 2 6/21 2/9 1/2 2 2 31 -6
T. Craig 19 5 3 0 0 1 0 2 2/5 0/2 1/2 2 1 9 -4
N. Jokic 25 4 7 4 3 0 6 5 0/1 0/1 4/4 1 6 16 0
P. Millsap 19 2 3 1 1 0 2 2 1/7 0/1 0/0 1 2 6 -5
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Harris 32 20 2 2 0 0 3 1 6/16 3/6 5/6 1 1 23 -2
J. Murray 36 15 4 7 1 0 3 2 6/21 2/9 1/2 2 2 31 -6
T. Craig 19 5 3 0 0 1 0 2 2/5 0/2 1/2 2 1 9 -4
N. Jokic 25 4 7 4 3 0 6 5 0/1 0/1 4/4 1 6 16 0
P. Millsap 19 2 3 1 1 0 2 2 1/7 0/1 0/0 1 2 6 -5
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Lyles 28 16 9 1 1 1 0 3 6/9 2/5 2/3 0 9 29 +5
M. Plumlee 22 10 6 1 2 1 2 4 4/6 0/0 2/2 3 3 19 -2
M. Morris 26 8 2 3 1 0 0 0 4/10 0/3 0/0 0 2 17 +4
J. Hernangomez 22 7 5 0 0 1 0 2 3/6 1/4 0/0 3 2 13 +4
M. Beasley 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 -4
I. Thomas - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Barton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Akoon-Purcell - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Welsh - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lydon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Vanderbilt - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Porter Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 87 41 19 9 4 16 22 32/82 8/32 15/19 13 28 163 -10
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Gasol 35 20 12 4 2 3 3 5 6/13 1/2 7/7 3 9 42 +15
J. Jackson Jr. 32 20 7 0 3 3 3 2 7/15 2/5 4/6 3 4 30 0
K. Anderson 32 14 5 1 1 0 2 1 5/9 1/2 3/4 0 5 20 -1
G. Temple 29 5 2 0 0 0 1 3 1/4 0/2 3/4 0 2 6 +10
M. Conley 36 4 3 8 1 0 2 2 2/9 0/2 0/0 0 3 22 +4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Gasol 35 20 12 4 2 3 3 5 6/13 1/2 7/7 3 9 42 +15
J. Jackson Jr. 32 20 7 0 3 3 3 2 7/15 2/5 4/6 3 4 30 0
K. Anderson 32 14 5 1 1 0 2 1 5/9 1/2 3/4 0 5 20 -1
G. Temple 29 5 2 0 0 0 1 3 1/4 0/2 3/4 0 2 6 +10
M. Conley 36 4 3 8 1 0 2 2 2/9 0/2 0/0 0 3 22 +4
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Brooks 11 9 1 0 0 0 1 1 4/7 1/2 0/0 1 0 9 +1
S. Mack 19 6 0 4 0 0 2 2 2/4 2/3 0/0 0 0 12 +2
W. Selden Jr. 14 5 1 1 0 0 0 2 1/2 1/2 2/2 0 1 8 -5
D. Brooks 21 4 3 1 0 1 2 1 1/5 0/1 2/2 1 2 8 -6
I. Rabb 5 2 2 0 0 0 1 3 1/2 0/0 0/0 0 2 3 -10
C. Parsons - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
O. Casspi - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Green - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Y. Watanabe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Carter - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 89 36 19 7 7 17 22 30/70 8/21 21/25 8 28 160 +10