Randolph’s double-double leads Grizzlies past Nuggets
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Zach Randolph had 15 points and 17 rebounds, Jeff Green added 13 points and the Memphis Grizzlies built an early lead en route to a 99-69 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Memphis won its fifth straight, holding the Nuggets to 11 points in the first quarter and never getting threatened the rest of the way as Randolph recorded his 10th consecutive double-double.
Courtney Lee, Nick Calathes and Beno Udrih, starting in place of the injured Mike Conley, scored 11 apiece, while Marc Gasol had 10 points.
Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried each scored 10 points for Denver, which lost for the eighth time in the last nine.
With Memphis comfortably ahead at the end of the third quarter, both teams relied on their reserves to finish out the fourth.
Memphis outrebounded Denver 57-47 and held a 46-42 advantage in the paint. The Nuggets managed to shoot only 33 percent for the night and were 2 of 26 from outside the arc — less than 8 percent. Memphis was only slightly better at 3 for 16.
After leading by as many as 19, Memphis held a 50-35 advantage at the break as Randolph had 11 points. Of Denver’s 35 points, 24 were in the paint.
The Memphis lead could have been larger, but the Grizzlies were 10 of 16 from the free throw line. Denver went to the line only three times, making two.
The Grizzlies finished the night 18 of 27 from the line, while Denver was 9 of 10.
A short burst from the Nuggets at the start of the third made little difference and Memphis continued to pour it on behind Randolph, who controlled the boards.
Memphis continued to stretch the lead in the period, eventually reaching 27 before the Grizzlies took a 74-49 lead into the final period.
The fourth-quarter lead swelled to 33 points.