The Nuggets and Grizzlies were tied at 75 with 9:15 left to play before Memphis locked down with their signature defense and handed the Nuggets a 105-98 loss on Sunday afternoon at Pepsi Center. The Grizzlies went on a 7-0 run over the next three minutes to keep Denver at a distance down the stretch.

Memphis, who averages just 99.6 points per game (No. 3 in the NBA), held Denver to 44 percent shooting from the floor. The Nuggets, who are fourth in the league in scoring with 110.8 points per game, were held to 84 shot attempts on the night. Denver averages 88.1 per game, just behind New York who leads the league at 89.9. Denver’s defense matched Memphis, allowing just 80 shots and 45 percent shooting, but Memphis won the game at the foul line going 22-for-25 in the game. The Nuggets got to the line only 17 times, converting 13.

Mike Conley scored a game-high 31 points for Memphis including 5-for-9 shooting from 3-point range. Danilo Gallinari had 24 to lead Denver. Nikola Jokic‘s mini-slump saw improvement, but not the breakout the Nuggets needed. The forward had 10 points in 33 minutes. With one game to play in February he’s averaging 16.7 points per per game; through the first eight games of the month he was averaging 20.1. He has just 16 in the last three games combined.

Denver remains one game ahead of Sacramento for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Portland, Dallas and New Orleans are all within three games. Sacramento hosts Minnesota on Monday. The Nuggets are in Chicago on Tuesday.