for this game

Mayo lifts Grizzlies over Nuggets

Mar 12, 2012 - 4:58 AM
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - O.J. Mayo scored 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting and made a key three-pointer down the stretch to help the Grizzlies upend the Nuggets, 94-91, at Pepsi Center.

Mike Conley added 13 points and seven assists and Dante Cunningham scored 12 points off the bench for Memphis, which had a five-game winning streak snapped in Phoenix on Saturday.

Nene, Al Harrington and Corey Brewer each scored 15 points for the Nuggets, who fell to 2-2 on their current nine-game homestand.

Andre Miller scored 14 points off the bench, but lost the ball on Denver's final possession, the last of 24 turnovers for the hosts.

"They have good defensive hands," Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo said of the Grizzlies. "We have to be a little stronger with the ball."

The Nuggets never led in the fourth quarter, though Ty Lawson drained a three- pointer to pull them within 88-87 with under three minutes to play. After two Cunningham free throws, Lawson was whistled for a charge when he drove into a stationed Marc Gasol outside the lane.

A loose ball foul on Nene resulted in Mayo going to the free throw line, where he hit 1-of-2 with 1:37 on the clock.

Miller made it a one-possession game again with two free throws, but Mayo's three-pointer at the other end put the visitors on top, 94-89.

The free throw contest continued, as Nene made the first and missed the second with 39.9 seconds remaining. On the latter, Brewer came in from the top of the key, snagged an offensive rebound away from Conley and drew a foul.

Brewer also made the first and missed the second from the stripe, and he again wiggled through the lane to get his own rebound, though he missed the putback.

On the ensuing possession, Quincy Pondexter was forced into a rushed jumper with the shot clock winding down and hit all iron with his 15-footer. Denver regained possession when Cunningham's tip-in rolled off the rim.

As the Nuggets rushed down the court with the clock dipping below 10 seconds, Afflalo passed to Miller at the top of the key. Miller fumbled the pass, and Conley was there for the easy steal to secure the win.

"The guys just played extremely hard and competed for 48 minutes," Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins said.

The Nuggets' biggest lead came early on, as they scored 10 of the game's first 12 points. Memphis cut the gap to 25-23 by the end of the opening quarter, and a back-and-forth second frame ended with Denver holding a 53-50 edge.

The Grizzlies forced eight turnovers in the third and took a 73-70 lead heading to the final 12 minutes.

Game Notes

Memphis swept the three-game season series...Mayo also handed out eight assists...Lawson had five points and six turnovers...Memphis' leading scorer, Rudy Gay, shot just 3-for-13 from the field and finished with seven points...Memphis shot 51 percent from the field, 10 percentage points better than its opposition.