The Memphis Grizzlies may not be very jolly, but they’re
seemingly in a giving mood this holiday season.
The Grizzlies will likely need to take better care of the ball
if they’re going to avoid a three-game slide and win consecutive
road meetings against the Denver Nuggets for the first time Friday
Although they still have one of the best records in the league,
the Grizzlies (14-5) have cooled off somewhat, losing three of five
this month thanks in part to sloppy play. They’re averaging 17.8
turnovers in that stretch after committing 14.1 during a 12-2
The turnovers have been particularly concerning while losing the
last two games as Memphis has been held to its lowest scoring
outputs of the season.
The Grizzlies coughed the ball up 16 times in Saturday’s 93-83
loss to Atlanta before adding one more in an 82-80 defeat at
Phoenix, surrendering the decisive basket with 0.5 seconds
“That’s our game – taking care of the ball, executing and
getting up and down on the court and that’s what we’re not doing
right now,” said forward Zach Randolph, who’s totaled 36 points and
23 rebounds the past two games. “These last two games we haven’t
been doing that.”
Turnovers also plagued the Nuggets (11-12) on Wednesday, when
they had 19 in a 108-105 loss to Minnesota to end a 2-3 road trip.
Still, Ty Lawson had a chance at a game-tying 3 at the buzzer, but
“We just didn’t play an intelligent game,” coach George Karl
said. “To overcome those three areas of fundamentals and to have a
shot to tie is pretty impressive.”
That was the sixth loss in nine games for Denver, but only one
of those contests came at home. Karl’s team has won five of its
league-low six games at Pepsi Center, averaging 106.0 points.
Kenneth Faried is averaging 15.0 points and 11.8 rebounds at
home, compared to his 11.5 and 9.4 totals on the road. The
second-year power forward hit 10 of 16 field goals and finished
with 26 points and 14 boards against the Timberwolves.
”We lost. Any time we lose, it’s a terrible game,” Faried
said. ”You can’t put stats on that or what you did well because
it’s a team effort.”
He had 13 points and rebounds while matched up against Randolph
in a 97-92 win at Memphis on Nov. 19.
Danilo Gallinari, who had a season-high 26 points in that
meeting, scored 24 on 9 of 13 from the floor – 4 of 5 from beyond
the arc – Wednesday. He shot 3 for 14 from long range over the
previous four games, averaging 13.8 points.
The Grizzlies overcame 21 turnovers and Rudy Gay’s 3-for-13
shooting performance in a 94-91 win in their most recent visit to
Denver on March 11. That was just Memphis’ fourth victory in 32
all-time road games against the Nuggets.