Harris was 11 of 18 from the field to help the Nuggets shoot 55 percent in the game. Paul Millsap added 15 points as Denver sent the Grizzlies to their 12th straight loss, the longest losing streak in the NBA this season, leaving Memphis with the lowest winning percentage in the league at 29.5 percent (18-43).
“You can’t say enough good things about the way these guys continue to battle in tough circumstances,” Memphis interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Results, we come up short at the end, obviously. But, I couldn’t be more proud of the way these guys fought.”
Memphis trailed by 15 early in the fourth, but clicked off a 16-6 run to significantly cut into the Denver lead. Eventually, Memphis would get to within 104-102 with a pair of free throws from Gasol with 1:38 left.
But Harris nailed a 20-foot jumper with just under a minute left as the Nuggets scored the game’s final four points.
For most of the game, Smith stood out against Markkanen in a matchup of 20-year-old rookies. Markkanen entered fourth in rookie scoring (14.8 points per game) and Smith fifth (14.6).
Antetokounmpo, 22, said he was poked in the right eye as he leaped to attempt a tip-in with 10:08 remaining in the contest. He went down and was attended to by a team trainer. He then left the game and did not return.
Antetokounmpo said afterward that the vision in his right eye was blurry.
“When I look straight, it’s cleared up. When I look down, things are moving,” said Antetokounmpo, who also was hit in the left eye in the third quarter. “Hopefully, when I sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow morning it’s [better]. Right now, I’ll be fine.”
Antetokounmpo finished with 11 points, three rebounds and two assists.
“Nah, that’s what Anthony is for,” Holiday said jokingly about his missed free throws. “I was never worried.”
Davis made two free throws to give New Orleans a 119-116 lead.