MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored 24 points and made a go-ahead basket with 28.9 seconds left, and the Denver Nuggets overcame a 25-point second-half deficit to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 95-92 on Monday night.
Will Barton’s 3-pointer with 43 seconds remaining gave the Nuggets their first lead of the game at 91-89. After a 3-pointer from Memphis’ Justin Holiday, Jokic scored inside to put Denver ahead to stay.
Malik Beasley had 18 points, 13 in the fourth quarter to key Denver’s rally. Barton had 20 points, and the Nuggets moved to 34-15, the best start in franchise history.
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 28 points and nine rebounds, and Mike Conley had 23 points and 11 assists.
It was the largest deficit that Denver has overcome this season.
Memphis led 85-72 with about four minutes left when the Nuggets came charging back on a 19-4 burst, Barton’s 3-pointer completing the comeback.
The Nuggets had scored at least 70 first-half points the last two games but got nowhere near that against Memphis. Denver shot 30 percent in the first quarter, and only did slightly better in the second, finishing the half at 38 percent.
Gasol, the subject of trade rumors, showed the Grizzlies what they would miss if they sent him away. Gasol had 21 points at the break, going 9 of 12 from the field.
Nuggets: G Jamal Murray missed his second straight game with a left ankle sprain. ... The previous two times the Nuggets started 33-15 after 48 games — in 1976-77 and 2009-10 — they lost the next game. ... The Nuggets had 16 first-quarter points, was one less than a season-low for points in a quarter.
Grizzlies: F Kyle Anderson returned to the starting lineup after missing eight games with left ankle sprain suffered Jan. 12. ... F Omri Casspi missed his second game with knee soreness. F JaMychal Green sat out with left knee soreness.
Nuggets: Play the Pelicans in New Orleans on Wednesday night.