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Nuggets golden against Grizzlies, cash out with road win

The Memphis Grizzlies hosted the Denver Nuggets at FedExForum Friday night in a tight contest.
Credit: AP
Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke (15) shoots between Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., left, and center Nikola Jokic during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 12, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Home court advantage ain’t what it used to be.

The visiting Denver Nuggets handed the Memphis Grizzlies a 103-102 loss at the FedExForum in downtown Memphis Friday night. The Grizzlies, who are 17-17 on the season, now have a disappointing 8-12 record at home.

Nuggets all-star center Nicola Jokic had a huge game with 28 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Grizzlies center Jonas Valančiūnas notched his 22nd double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and notching 11 rebounds. Ja Morant had an off shooting night, going 5-16 on his way to scoring 16 points. Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke each had 20 points.

Off the bench, Brandon Clarke sparked the Grizzlies to a 31-26 lead in the first quarter. Clarke scored 12 points on 4-5 shooting (including 2-3 from 3-point land) in only 6 minutes of playing time.

The Grizzlies took a 55-53 lead into the locker room, paced by Clarke’s 16 points. Jonas Valančiūnas dropped in 10 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in the first half. Nuggets’ center Nicola Jokic was nearly unstoppable in the first two quarters, scoring 17 points on 8-11 shooting and snagging 7 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists.

Denver entered the game with a 4-game winning streak. Former University of Memphis standout Will Barton scored 21 points for the Nuggets.

Memphis’ next game is on the road Sunday afternoon against the Oklahoma City Thunder.