Jokic's 47 leads Nuggets over Grizzlies 139-137 in 2 OTs

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Retired Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning looks on as the Memphis Grizzlies face the Denver Nuggets in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, April 19, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER – Nikola Jokic scored 47 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer late in the second overtime, and the Denver Nuggets rallied to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 139-137 on Monday night.

Jokic added 15 rebounds and eight assists, Will Barton scored 28 and Michael Porter Jr. 21 for the shorthanded Nuggets. Denver played without its top two point guards -- Jamal Murray, who has a torn ACL in his left knee and Monte Morris.

Jokic burnished his MVP credentials by carrying the Nuggets to their third straight win since Murray went down.

“Life is about a bunch of little moments and I think Nikola’s got around 56 little moments this year where he’s shown he’s the MVP,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “Tonight was a character win.”

Morris recently missed 11 games with a left quad injury but returned April 4 and played eight games. He hurt his left hamstring in Friday night’s win at Houston and will likely miss multiple games, Malone said before the game against the Grizzlies.

Memphis was without Dillon Brooks due to left thigh soreness and Jonas Valanciunas, who suffered a concussion Saturday night.

Ja Morant had 36 points and 12 assists, De’Anthony Melton had 25 points off the bench and Grayson Allen added 24 points for Memphis. The Grizzlies lost for just the second time in their last eight road games.

“We had our chances, we just got to be better,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “They made some great plays.”