NEW YORK -- The Memphis Grizzlies are experiencing their first speedbump in a quick start while the Brooklyn Nets are encountering massive struggles in fourth quarters of late.
Off to a respectable start after losing 60 games, the Grizzlies take a three-game losing streak into Friday's visit to the Brooklyn Nets, who are on a five-game home losing streak after a pair of nightmarish fourth quarters.
The Grizzlies bolted to a 12-5 start when Mike Conley scored 30 points and Marc Gasol hit two free throws with 0.7 seconds left in a 104-103 win at San Antonio on Nov. 21.
Since then, Memphis dropped games to the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors. The losses to the Clippers and Knicks featured third-quarter collapses while Tuesday's 122-114 loss to the Raptors saw the Grizzlies blow a 17-point lead and get outscored 29-17 in the fourth quarter.
"I'm not happy, by any means," Gasol said after the Grizzlies allowed a season high in points. "I'm nowhere near happy with (our defense). You can see the trend. Gasol, however, also tweaked his ankle Tuesday and is a game-time decision for Friday after participating in practice Thursday.
As for the Nets, they are hoping to avoid a third straight fourth-quarter fade. They were outscored 31-13 in the fourth and shot 2-of-17 in the final 12 minutes of Wednesday's 101-91 loss to the Utah Jazz and it occurred three days after the Nets were outscored 38-23 in the final 12 minutes of a 127-125 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
"We just want to win," Nets center Jarrett Allen said. "We were up two games in the fourth quarter, so we just want to learn how to close."
The Nets are on a five-game home losing streak and a four-game skid overall. >> Read More
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