Denver, CO – Kosta Koufos registered a double-double with 18 points and 16 rebounds and led the Denver Nuggets to an 87-80 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.
Koufos shot 7-of-9 from the field for the Nuggets, who are on an 11-game winning streak. Danilo Gallinari scored 15 points while Corey Brewer and Andre Miller had 11 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench.
"This is a huge win for us to beat such a good team," said Koufos. "We got things going defensively pretty early in the game, and that leads to us getting offense."
Zach Randolph posted 18 points and 18 rebounds, including 10 offensive boards, for the Grizzlies, who came into the game with a six-game winning streak. Marc Gasol had 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Tayshaun Prince and Mike Conley scored 11 points apiece.
"We got away from what we wanted to do," said Gasol. "We just didn't have any kind of counter for what they were throwing at us."
Tied 78-78 with 2:13 remaining, the Nuggets went on a 9-2 spurt to end the game.
After the first quarter, the Nuggets had a 23-18 lead. Denver shot 52.4 percent from the field, while Memphis shot just 29.6 percent.
Miller made a layup to start the second quarter, but the Grizzlies responded with a 6-0 spurt to cut the deficit to 25-24 with 9:18 left.
Denver would extend its lead by nine, 46-37, with two minutes remaining, but Memphis went on a 10-2 surge in the remainder of the half. Jerryd Bayless made a layup at the buzzer to bring them within one, 48-47, at halftime.
The Grizzlies kept the offense rolling in the third and began the period on a 7-0 run to give them a 54-48 advantage with 9 1/2 minutes to go.
The Nuggets had trouble shooting in the frame, making just 20 percent of their shots, and the Grizzlies would have a 66-58 lead entering the fourth.
However, in the fourth, the Grizzlies appeared to have run out of gas. They were outscored 29-14 in the quarter, as they shot just 17.6 percent while the Nuggets made 62.5 percent of their shots.
Denver was 1-for-12 from three-point range, with Gallinari making the only shot from behind the arc ... The Grizzlies did not make a field goal in the final 3:59 of the game ... Denver won the season-series 3-1 ... The Nuggets' 11-game winning streak is their longest in 30 years.