Posey leads Grizzlies past Nuggets

Associated Press

MEMPHIS – James Posey scored 20 points, including 13 during a fourth-quarter rally, and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Denver Nuggets 109-106 Monday night in a matchup of two of the NBA's most improved teams.

Shane Battier's block of Carmelo Anthony's putback attempt with 7 seconds left prevented Denver from taking the lead. Posey grabbed the blocked shot, was fouled and converted the free throws to seal Memphis' fifth straight victory.

Denver took a 106-102 lead with 1:22 left. But the Grizzlies scored the game's final seven points five by Posey to send the Nuggets to their third straight loss.

Pau Gasol led Memphis with 25 points, and Bonzi Wells finished with 17. Battier and Jason Williams had 10 each, and Williams added eight assists.

Anthony scored 16 of his 26 points in the second half, but again struggled from the field, hitting only nine of 25 shots. He added 14 rebounds.

Voshon Lenard scored 21 for Denver, all in the first half. Marcus Camby had 15 points and 18 rebounds, and Andre Miller scored 12.

Memphis shot 60 percent in the first half and held a 57-49 lead at the break.

Denver pushed the ball up the floor, at times beating the Grizzlies back down the court after Memphis baskets.

The Grizzlies struggled in the third period. They missed their first eight shots and made only 11 of 29 in the quarter, allowing Denver to claw its way back from a nine-point deficit. Anthony scored 10 in the third.

Memphis made the final two baskets of the period to take an 80-79 lead into the fourth.

Notes: Gasol left in the second quarter after taking an elbow to the nose from Nene. Gasol was taken to the locker room with a nasal fracture, but returned later in the quarter. … Nene, a 68 percent free throw shooter, missed all five shots from the line. … Camby got his 14th double-double of the season and third in a row. … It was Anthony's 10th double-double of the season. … Memphis C Stromile Swift, who left Saturday's game against the Bulls with an ankle injury, played 13 minutes. … The home team has won the last 10 meetings.