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Grizzlies resume playoff push, play host to Nuggets

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies are battling for a playoff berth and that quest continues Friday night when they welcome the Denver Nuggets to FedExForum.

The Grizzlies are in a fight with the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks for the seventh and eighth seeds in the Western Conference. The Mavs beat the LA Clippers on Thursday night to inch in front of both teams by a half-game.

Memphis completed an unsuccessful road trip on Wednesday with a 102-88 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Grizzlies went 2-3 on the sojourn, but have won 10 straight as the host.

The Grizz had a hard time handling Wolves' All-Star forward Kevin Love, who recorded his second triple-double in four days. Minnesota shot 53 percent from the field.

"It was one of those games, end of a road trip, (when you) can't feel your legs, trying to push through it," Memphis forward Zach Randolph said. "It just felt like we were running in the mud. We have to put this one behind us. Every game counts, but this one really hurt and we need to put it behind us."

Marc Gasol ended with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Grizzlies. Courtney Lee and Ed Davis donated 14 and 10 points, respectively. Randolph, Tayshaun Prince and Mike Conley combined for just 17 points.

The Grizzlies play four of their last seven at home, but still have matchups with the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs before the season ends.

The Nuggets are not battling for a playoff spot, but they did halt a four-game losing streak last time out. Denver has dropped four in a row as the visitor.

On Wednesday, the Nuggets matched their season-high in points in a 137-107 demolishing of the New Orleans Pelicans at the Pepsi Center.

"Well it's finally nice to be on this side of the game like that for a change. I thought we did a pretty good job all the way around in terms of our pace [and] sharing the ball. I just thought all around our guys looked like a cohesive unit tonight," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said.

Kenneth Faried scored a game-high 34 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Nuggets. Aaron Brooks added 24 points off the bench and Ty Lawson finished with 14 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets.

Timofey Mozgov netted 15, followed by 12 from Evan Fournier and 10 out of Jan Vesely.

The Nuggets shot 56.5 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from long range, but were helped by the fact the Pelicans' forward Anthony Davis left the game early with back spasms.

These two teams met in Denver on Monday with the Grizzlies prevailing, 94-92. That one ended controversially with the Grizzlies benefiting from a missed call with 0.7 seconds left on the clock. Memphis' Courtney Lee missed the rim with his free thrown, but the violation was not called. The NBA confirmed the call was incorrect.

Denver and Memphis have split the last 12 games on Beale Street.