Danilo Gallinari scored 26 points, six of which came in the final two minutes, as the Denver Nuggets stopped the Memphis Grizzlies' eight-game win streak with a thrilling 97-92 victory at FedExForum.
JaVale McGee added 15 points, including a key tip-in with 46.7 seconds left that gave Denver a 93-92 lead, and Kenneth Faried put up 13 points and 13 rebounds to help the Nuggets end a three-game slide and prevent the Grizzlies from setting a franchise record for consecutive victories.
"This is the first game on the road that I think we executed on a high level both offensively and defensively," Nuggets coach George Karl said.
Rudy Gay netted 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting and Marc Gasol finished with 16 in only Memphis' second defeat in 10 games this season, while Zach Randolph posted another double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The Nuggets squandered a seven-point lead with under 8 1/2 minutes to go, but regrouped to battle back from a 92-88 deficit by scoring the game's final nine points.
Gallinari began the surge by hitting 3-of-4 free throws, with the last two attempts coming after he pulled down a pivotal rebound off teammate Andre Iguodala's 3-point miss. After Gasol was called for a charging foul on the ensuing possession, McGee crashed the boards after Denver's Andre Miller couldn't convert a reverse layup and scored for a 94-93 edge as time wound down.
The Grizzlies erred on their next trip down the court as well, with Gallinari stealing Gay's errant pass before draining a 3-pointer with 12.7 seconds to go to seal the win.
Denver recorded 29 points off 17 Memphis turnovers for the game.
"Today we got what we deserved. The last game we didn't play that well, but the other team wasn't as talented as this team is. When you play with fire, sometimes you get burned," Gasol said.
Memphis trailed 79-72 early in the fourth quarter before changing momentum with a 15-4 run over a span of nearly four minutes. Tony Allen accounted for the final six points of the flurry, the last a jumper with 4:43 remaining that put the Grizzlies on top by an 87-83 count.
The margin remained at four points until Denver's deciding spurt.
Neither team led by more than five points in a tightly played first half in which the Nuggets carried a 52-49 edge into the break. Gallinari was the standout of the opening two quarters as well, with the Italian sharp-shooter dropping in 15 points while hitting 5-of-6 shots from the field.
Denver shot 54.1 percent as a team in the first half, but cooled off in the third quarter as Memphis regained control. A 6-0 run midway through the period gave the Grizzlies a 61-56 advantage, and they carried a 70-64 lead before a McGee jumper and a Corey Brewer 3-pointer pulled the Nuggets within one entering the final session.
The Nuggets then opened the fourth with eight consecutive points to move ahead by a 77-70 score with less than 9 1/2 minutes to play.