With 32 games remaining in the regular season, the Memphis Grizzlies have already made it the most successful one in franchise history.
The Grizzlies will look to add to their record win total when they meet the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
Pau Gasol scored 27 points Sunday, and Shane Battier hit a 14-footer with 2.9 seconds left, giving Memphis a 99-98 win over Minnesota. With the victory, the ninth-year Grizzlies surpassed their single-season record of 28 wins set last season.
Memphis, which has won four straight and 12 of its last 15, is in seventh place in the Western Conference.
“We’re finally a legitimate franchise,” Battier said. “For a while, people weren’t taking us seriously—fans, refs, everyone. It’s nice to get a little respect.”
Gasol finished 11-of-14 from the field and shot 5-of-8 from the free-throw line.
“I’ve tried to be more aggressive with my scoring,” Gasol said. “I’ve been a little beat up but I’m feeling better and I feel like I’m playing better.”
The Nuggets are returning home after dropping consecutive road games to Golden State and Sacramento.
Reserve guard Earl Boykins, who scored 13 points, said he was most disappointed with the Nuggets’ defensive effort against Sacramento guards Peja Stojakovic and Mike Bibby, who combined for 65 points.
“They came down and we weren’t good at transition defense,” Boykins said. “We weren’t getting to the 3-point line. And when we didn’t, they made us pay.”
The Nuggets took a three-point lead into the fourth quarter, but were outscored 34-18.
“This is real frustrating, we had it in our hands down to the last eight minutes,” Anthony said. “And they wind up winning by 20 or something.”
The Nuggets had won three straight prior to this two-game skid.