The Least You Should Know:
[sny-box]The Nets began the game on a 21-2 run, en route to a 30 point opening stanza.
Brooklyn shot 51.4% from the field, including 15-for-26 from three point range.
Joe Johnson scored a team-high 21 points (8-of-13 shooting) to go along with four assists and a steal.
Marcus Thornton scored 20 (8-of-13, 4-of-5 from deep) off the bench.
Deron Williams had 16 points and seven assists in 33 minutes.[/sny-box]
Incredible effort to open the game. Paul Pierce had the hot hand, as he drained a few from long distance, and the defense was absolutely suffocating. Brooklyn kept the Grizzlies completely disjointed, and it allowed them to build a lead it never relinquished.
What a brilliant addition the Marcus Thornton addition seems to be. Thornton got comfortable on the wing once a few threes fell in the second quarter, and the Nets were able to get him the ball. Many criticized the Nets' addition of Thornton, myself included, saying adding size down low would be more important. So far, I couldn't have been more wrong.
The Nets are now 13-2 over their last 15 at the Barclays Center and are holding opponents to 93.9 points per game over that stretch. That's a great trend, and it's one that could make all the difference come playoff time. Especially for a franchise that lost a tough Game 7 at home last season.
Leading wire-to-wire against a Memphis team that had really put it together lately is an impressive task, Zach Randolph or not. This was the game that scared me in this stretch, and the Nets held up well even when they made their before the half. Brooklyn dominated the third quarter (remember when the third was the Achilles heel of this team?!) and got themselves over the .500 mark. They can't take their foot off the gas heading into a back-to-back this weekend, but they've certainly set themselves up to make a big run at the top of the Atlantic.
The Nets will ship up to Boston for a Friday night tilt for the Celtics. Tip is set for 7:30 PM.