First came the ejections and then the dejection. The Denver Nuggets have now gone 22 straight games without a road win.
Their frustrations boiled over Tuesday night, as Nuggets Antonio McDyess, Danny Fortson and coach Mike D'Antoni were all thrown out of the game in the fourth quarter of a 101-87 loss to the Vancouver Grizzlies.
"I don't know the ref's name, but he was calling fouls on me all night. ... That was awful reffing," said McDyess, who was tossed with 4:46 after official Marc Davis issued him two technical fouls.
And what did McDyess say to Davis to earn the `Ts'?
"I said, 'It must be your first year,' and he gave me a technical. And I just clapped my hands and said, `Good,' and he threw me out of the game."
Down 86-76 at the time and with McDyess out of the game, the Nuggets unraveled. Fortson and D'Antoni were sent to the locker room with 1:53 left after Fortson argued a foul called against him when he was thrown to the floor by Vancouver's Tony Massenburg.
After Fortson was ejected, D'Antoni took the floor and began yelling at the officials. Massenburg was also tossed from the game after picking up his second technical.
Even with all the ejections, Fortson wouldn't blame the officials for the loss.
"I don't blame the officials for not giving us calls. They played harder than we did and deserved it."
Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 22 points as the Grizzlies snapped a five-game losing streak and won for only the second time in their last 20 games. Mike Bibby had 20 points and 10 assists for Vancouver, while Cherokee Parks scored a season-high 14 points as all five Vancouver starters scored in double figures.
Nick Van Exel led the Nuggets with a season-high 29 points, while McDyess scored 22 before being ejected.
The Nuggets are 0-15 on the road this year and thy lost their last seven away games last season. The NBA record for consecutive road losses is 43, set over two seasons by the Sacramento Kings in 1990-91. The Dallas Mavericks hold the record for most road losses to start the season, losing 29 straight at the beginning of the 1992-93 season.
Abdur-Rahim put the Grizzlies up 57-56 with 7:03 left in the third quarter when he hit two free throws after being fouled attempting a baseline drive. The Grizzlies never trailed after that.
The Grizzlies called this payback for the way the Nuggets rubbed in a 110-84 win in the team's last meeting, March 15 at Denver.
"We watched the film and they were throwing it off the backboard, throwing alley-oops with a minute left in the game, so we had to come out and redeem ourselves," Bibby said.
Notes: Vancouver's Rodrick Rhodes, who missed four of the previous five games with a chest injury, did not dress against the Nuggets after injuring his left ankle in Monday's loss to the Lakers. ... Prior to the game, Nuggets rookie Keon Clark was taken to hospital as a precaution to have his chest X-rayed after an examination revealed a shortage of air entering his lung. Clark complained of discomfort in his left chest when he arrived at the arena. Clark missed the game and his status will be determined after further examination. ... The Grizzlies snapped a 15-game streak in which they failed to score at least 100 points.
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