Ja Morant, Grizzlies carve up Nuggets to spoil Nikola Jokic’s triple-double

If it wasn’t already institutional knowledge around the NBA, it is now. Grizzlies guard Ja Morant is a problem.

The soaring superstar was at it again Friday night at Ball Arena. Morant carved up Denver’s defense en route to a 122-118 Grizzlies win. It’s the third time this season Memphis has knocked off the Nuggets – a disconcerting trend for a potential first-round opponent this spring.

Morant sprung for 38 points to the chagrin of the handful of defenders who tried to contain him. Not even Aaron Gordon could quell Morant’s incessant drives, scintillating dribbles and relentless attacks.

“It seemed like, at times, they were playing at a different speed than us,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

Memphis’ size and spirit spoiled Nikola Jokic’s fourth triple-double in as many games. Denver’s franchise centerpiece tallied 26 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists, but his line couldn’t overshadow Memphis’ towering presence. The Grizzlies poured in 58 points in the paint and bludgeoned Denver on the glass, 48-37.

A healthy DeMarcus Cousins can’t come soon enough. Denver’s latest addition sat out Friday’s game, which marked the first day of his 10-day contract. The four-time All-Star went through warm-ups but was a game-time decision due to a minor injury issue, according to Nuggets coach Michael Malone. He ultimately didn’t play and had to watch the Grizzlies bully the Nuggets inside.

Their other addition, Bryn Forbes, managed nine points on just 4-of-13 shooting on the…

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