Grizzlies hold on to beat Nuggets, 94-92

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 31, 2014 at 11:57 pm •  Published: March 31, 2014
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DENVER (AP) — 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."

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