Conley, Gasol lead Grizzlies past Nuggets 100-92

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 4, 2014 at 10:52 pm •  Published: April 4, 2014
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Early in the second half the Memphis Grizzlies found a way to change the momentum and ended up with a key win.

Memphis turned up the defensive intensity, overtook Denver in the third quarter and stayed in postseason contention with a 100-92 victory over the Nuggets on Friday night.

"I thought we did a much better job coming out of the locker room in the third quarter," said Memphis center Marc Gasol, who led the Grizzlies with 24 points.

"We were more us, especially defensively. Offensively things may go well; may not. But defensively, we feed off that. We need that energy defensively."

Mike Conley was a key factor in Memphis' second-half burst, scoring 19 of his 21 points after the break. Memphis, which trailed 47-43 at halftime, outscored the Nuggets 57-45 in the final two quarters and forced 13 Denver turnovers in the second half.

"I was happy with the way we responded after they came back at us at the end of the first half," Conley said, acknowledging he was angry with the way Memphis closed the second quarter.

"We came back in the third quarter and guys were focused and guys had a lot of energy."

Zach Randolph added 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Tayshaun Prince scored 12 before leaving with an ankle injury in the first half and Courtney Lee scored 10 for Memphis, which won its 11th straight home game.

Randy Foye led the Nuggets, while Kenneth Faried finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for Denver, which lost its fifth in the past six.

Ty Lawson, who didn't start for disciplinary reasons, scored 16 points, while Timofey Mozgov had 13 points. Aaron Brooks scored 11.

But Lawson also left the arena in a boot, suffering left ankle sprain with about 3 minutes left.

"That is just, unfortunately, been the story of our season," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said of the Lawson injury.

Memphis entered the game a half-game behind Dallas for the seventh playoff spot and tied with the Phoenix Suns for eighth. Dallas and Phoenix played later Friday night.

Memphis, which was coming off a five-game road trip, struggled at times, and the Nuggets took advantage by erasing a double-digit first-half lead.