MEMPHIS, Tenn. – O.J. Mayo scored 18 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 35 seconds left in overtime, as the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a four-game losing streak with a 100-97 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.
Mayo's basket gave Memphis a 98-97 lead, and two free throws by Mike Conley with 8 seconds left gave Memphis the final margin. Rudy Fernandez's potential tying 3-point attempt in the closing seconds for Denver bounced off the rim, sending the Nuggets to their second straight loss.
Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol both overcame poor shooting nights to lead Memphis with 20 points apiece, each also grabbing 13 boards as the Grizzlies outrebounded the Nuggets 48-42. Tony Allen had 17 points and four blocks, and his defensive pressure in the second half keyed a Grizzlies rally. Mike Conley finished with 11 points.
Al Harrington led Denver with 23 points, 21 after halftime, and 10 rebounds. Andre Miller had 20 points on 8 of 13 from the field. Nene scored 14 points and Ty Lawson had 12 points.
The teams were tied at 91 at the end of regulation after Miller's 18-footer rimmed out as the horn sounded.
Memphis trailed by as many as 13 in the second half, and still trailed by 10 with just over 6 minutes left in regulation.
The Grizzlies then scored 10 of the game's next 11 points to pull close. But Memphis never overtook Denver, tying it twice late in the fourth quarter. Allen's dunk with 5 seconds left tied the score at 91, setting up overtime.
Memphis ended the night shooting 38 percent, but overcame that by causing 25 Denver turnovers.
Both teams started slowly, and at one point, were a combined 5 of 19 with 11 turnovers between them in the first quarter.
Memphis, which was coming off a lackluster performance in Monday night's 83-73 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, showed more energy, but the execution wasn't successful.
By halftime, the themes of the game were turnovers by Denver and poor shooting by Memphis. The Grizzlies had nine turnovers, and had forced 14 miscues by the Nuggets.
But Memphis' poor shooting resulted in only four points off those Denver turnovers in the first half. That was because the Grizzlies were hitting at a 28 percent clip, including another inaccurate shooting half for Memphis' leading scorers Gay and Gasol. Gay was 2 of 8 in the half, while Gasol was 2 of 6.
The result was the Nuggets holding a 13-point lead in the half and carrying a 49-37 advantage to the locker room.
Nene already had 11 of his points, and Miller had scored 10. But Danillo Gallinari, Denver's leading scorer with a 17.9 average, missed all seven of his shots. He would end the night 1 of 10, scoring only eight points.
Memphis used a 12-4 rally to whittle into the Nuggets lead opening the second half. But Harrington came in with consecutive 3-pointers for Denver.
Memphis pulled within one at 84-83 as Allen scored two straight baskets inside. Mayo's 8-foot floater finally pulled the Grizzlies even at 89 with 33.6 seconds left in regulation.
Harrington's offensive rebound and stick back gave Denver the lead at 91-89, but Allen answered with a dunk to tie it at 91 with 5 seconds remaining.
Miller's runner at the horn spun out, sending the game to overtime.
Notes: Gay had two steals, tying him with Shane Battier as the franchise leader with 523. ... The Nuggets entered with identical 7-3 records on the road and at home. ... The Nuggets had won 13 of the last 15 in the series before Tuesday's loss. ... Grizzlies F Sam Young did not play because of back spasms. ... Memphis was playing its first overtime game of the season, while Denver had won its two previous overtime games. ... The Nuggets 25 turnovers were two short of the most in the league this season. Denver had 27 against Sacramento on Jan. 4. ... Denver guard Ty Lawson was playing his first game after missing two with a right ankle sprain.