National Basketball Association
Denver 103, Memphis 102
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, March 12, 2021
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Officials: #71 Rodney Mott, #56 Mark Ayotte, #64 Justin Van Duyne
Attendance: 2160

Nikola Jokic finished with 28 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists, made a hook shot with 34.7 seconds remaining, and defended a Ja Morant layup attempt with three seconds left as the Denver Nuggets defeated the host Memphis Grizzlies 103-102 Friday.

Will Barton and Michael Porter Jr. scored 21 points each for the Nuggets. The pair of wings picked up the scoring slack because Jamal Murray, who entered averaging 21.8 points per game, scored just three points on 1-of-14 shooting.

Barton's 5-of-10 on 3-pointers helped the Nuggets keep pace with the Grizzlies from outside. Denver finished 13-of-37 from behind the arc, while Memphis hit 14-of-28.

The last of the Grizzlies' 3-pointers came from De'Anthony Melton, who went 3-of-5 behind the line for nine points off the bench. Melton's bucket pulled Memphis to within a point with 30.7 seconds left after Jokic's hook in traffic had given Denver a four-point lead.

The Grizzlies regained possession with a chance to win after Brandon Clarke blocked Jokic on the other end. Morant, who finished with 16 points and nine assists, slipped past his defender on a sideline out-of-bounds play and then attacked the rim.

Jokic met Morant at the rim to contest the shot, which fell out.

Friday's contest -- the first of three between Denver and Memphis this season -- was back-and-forth throughout. Clarke scored 16 of his 20 points off the bench in the first half, helping the Grizzlies to a two-point lead at intermission.

Dillon Brooks matched Clarke's team-high with 20 points and shot a team-best 4-of-6 from 3-point range.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies. Desmond Bane added 10 points.

The win marked Denver's fifth straight and completed a perfect 5-0 road swing that began before last weekend's NBA All-Star break. Friday was the Nuggets' first game since All-Star weekend.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Denver   Memphis
Nikola Jokic 28 Scoring Dillon Brooks 20
Nikola Jokic 7 Assists Ja Morant 9
Nikola Jokic 15 Rebounds Jonas Valanciunas 11
Michael Porter Jr. 3 Free Throws Made Ja Morant 4
Will Barton 3 Steals Tyus Jones 2
Isaiah Hartenstein 2 Blocks Brandon Clarke 3
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Denver 103 44.6 13-37 8-11 27 45 5 10 12
Memphis 102 46.0 14-28 8-8 27 45 5 6 17
Upcoming Games
  • Memphis will play their next game on the road against Oklahoma City. The Grizzlies have a W/L % of .471 after a win and .529 after a loss.
  • Denver will play their next game at home against Dallas. The Nuggets have a W/L % of .545 after a win and .667 after a loss.