Denver closes strong and denies Grizzlies a big win in the Mile High City

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Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic shoots a basket late in the second overtime of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Monday, April 19, 2021, in Denver. The Nuggets prevailed 139-137. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER — The Grizzlies found out, firsthand, why Nikola Jokic, is the front runner for NBA MVP this year.

The Nuggets found out Ja Morant is going to be major trouble for years to come.

Morant and Jokic battling into double overtime before Denver squeaks out the 139-137 win.

Morant and Jokic both finishing two shy of a triple double.

Jokic with 47 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists. Morant had 36 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds.

This was the Grizzlies game to win.

Behind a hot shooting De’Anthony Melton, who missed eight games with leg soreness, the Grizzlies turned an early nine point deficit into a 35-27 lead after one. Melton scoring 14 points in the opening quarter which included 4 3’s.

Morant then turned it on in the second half and with under four minutes to go in the game, the Grizzlies led 114-102.

That’s when the Nuggets put together a 14 to 2 run to close the fourth. Jokic had six of the 14 and former Memphis Tiger Will Barton added five including a huge three with under a minute to play. Barton finishing with 28.

Playing without both Jonas Valanciunas and Dillon Brooks, the Grizzlies still put six players in double figures. Grayson Allen had 24 and rookie Xavier Tillman record his first career double double with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

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