Grizzlies’ Brandon Clarke leaves game vs. Nuggets early after non-contact leg injury

Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke

Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke had to be helped off the court on Friday night after he sustained what appeared to be a non-contact left leg injury after shooting a free throw.

Clarke, just before the end of the first quarter of their game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena, missed a free throw and took a step back with his left leg. After planting his leg behind him, Clarke recoiled and yelled out in pain. He had to be helped off the court and into the locker room without putting any weight off his leg.

It’s unclear what Clarke did specifically, but he was seen riding a golf cart out of the arena with his ankle wrapped. Given that the injury was non-contact and he couldn’t put any weight on it whatsoever as he went off the floor, there's plenty of reason to be concerned.

Clarke finished with one point and one rebound in two minutes on Friday night. The 26-year-old has averaged 10.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game this season, his fourth with the Grizzlies.

Though Memphis held an eight-point lead at halftime, Denver surged ahead in the fourth quarter to take the 113-97 win. Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with a triple-double with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists. Michael Porter Jr. added 26 points and seven rebounds, and Jamal Murray finished with 22 points and nine assists. The Nuggets have now won seven of their last eight.

Ja Morant dropped 27 points and 10 assists in the loss for Memphis. Desmond Bane added 19 points, and Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 15 points. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Grizzlies.