National Basketball Association
Memphis at Denver
When: 5:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 26, 2017
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
The Memphis Grizzlies came out of the All-Star break in less-than-inspiring fashion and hope to more resemble the playoff team that they are when they visit the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. Memphis, which sits sixth in the Western Conference 8 1/2 games clear of ninth-place Sacramento entering Saturday, lost at Indiana 102-92 on Friday in its first contest since a 95-91 setback to New Orleans on Feb. 15 sent it into the break.
"Just when you think your team is looking good, feeling good, you can’t ever get comfortable because stuff like this happens,” Grizzlies coach David Fizdale told reporters. “But we’ve shown a tendency all year to come back from tough losses and regroup.” Denver sits eighth in the West - one game ahead of the Kings - following Friday's 129-109 victory over Brooklyn, a nice bounce-back effort after it fell at Sacramento 116-100 on Thursday in its first contest following the break. "It was a good win, coming in on a back-to-back, to play with that kind of energy," newly acquired Nugget Mason Plumlee told reporters after recording 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. "I thought the guys really played together, shots fell. It was a good night on defense, too." Memphis won the first two of three meetings this season - 108-107 at home Nov. 8 on center Marc Gasol's buzzer-beater and 119-99 in Denver on Feb. 1 behind 24 points from Gasol.TV:
5 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Memphis), Altitude (Denver)ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (34-25):
Gasol is putting together a career season offensively as his 20.5 points per game far exceed his career-high average of 17.4 set in 2014-15, but the 32-year-old hasn't scored 20 in his last six games. Forward Zach Randolph (14.1 points, 8.3 rebounds) leads the NBA with 14 double-doubles off the bench and missed recording another pair by a total of three rebounds in his last two games. Vince Carter (8.1 points), the oldest player in the NBA, scored 11 points Friday and is on pace to record the fifth-highest scoring average in NBA history in a player's 40-year-old season, trailing Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (14.6 points in 1987-88), Karl Malone (13.2, 2003-04), Robert Parish (11.7, 1993-94) and John Stockton (10.8, 2002-03).ABOUT THE NUGGETS (26-32):
Shooting guard Gary Harris (14.1 points) scored a career-high 25 on Friday and exceeded his average in his last six games while recording 70 points in his last three. Plumlee virtually matched his season averages of 11.1 points and 8.0 rebounds by recording 33 points and 24 rebounds in three games with the Nuggets since coming over from Portland on Feb. 12. Athletic forward Kenneth Faried (9.7 points, 7.8 rebounds) left Friday's game because of back spasms and is questionable to play Sunday while All-Star Nikola Jokic (15.7 points, 8.9 rebounds) scored only six in his last two contests.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Through Friday's games, the Grizzlies (99.6) were one of three NBA teams allowing fewer than 100 points per game (Utah, 95.7; San Antonio, 98.3).
2. Veteran C Roy Hibbert is expected to make his Nuggets debut after travel issues delayed his trip to Denver following his trade from Milwaukee.
3. Memphis won seven of the last eight meetings, including three straight in the Mile High City.PREDICTION:
Grizzlies 100, Nuggets 99
Stats and Records