The Skinny: Marc Gasol and Brook Lopez each came out and set the tone for their respective teams. Gasol scored eight of the Grizzlies first ten points and totaled 12 points in the opening period. He was mainly responsible for the Grizzlies 32-22 lead after one. Lopez scored nine of the Nets first 13 points and was the only Nets to make more than one field goal in the quarter. Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace combined to shoot just 2-for-6 in the opening period. The Grizzlies led by as many as 15 points before a couple of late buckets by Andray Blatche and Keith Bogans helped to cut the lead to 10.
Both teams opened up the quarter with four bench players led by one starter. The Nets second unit of C.J. Watson, Keith Bogans, Andray Blatche and Kris Humphries were joined by Johnson and played with good energy but allowed the Grizzlies second chance opportunities and couldn't rebound the ball. At one point, the Grizzlies were outrebounding the Nets 20-9. Led by Jerryd Bayless in the second quarter, the Grizzlies used a 15-5 run to push their lead over the Nets to as many as 16, 49-33. The Nets brought Lopez and Williams back in for the second half of the quarter, but the Grizzlies outscored the Nets 18-11 over the final six minutes of the half and brought a 67-44 lead to the locker room.
The Nets began the third quarter unable to hit a shot and feel behind by as many as 30 points. After pulling ahead 76-46, the Nets tightened up their defense and went on an 17-5 run to cut the deficit to 18 points. The Nets got an improbable eight points from Evans in the quarter. With 30 seconds remaining in the quarter, Deron Williams bumped knees with Darrel Arthur and left the game. The Grizzlies led by 18 after three.
Williams return was deemed "questionable" and the Nets began the quarter with Watson, Bogans and MarShon Brooks as their wings. Both teams went cold, combining to miss the first eight shots of the quarter and turning the ball over a total of four times. The Nets failed to capitalize on their opportunities down the stretch and were never able to seriously challenge the Grizzlies. The final seven minutes of the game was garbage time and the Nets ended up falling in a blowout, 101-77.
High Scorers: Brook Lopez (8-for-15) led the Nets with 18 points and was really the only Net that looked like he came to play. Williams, Johnson and Wallace combined to shoot 8-for-23 and totaled just 24 points. For the Grizzlies, Marc Gasol shot 10-for-15 in the first half and scored 20 points in the game's first two periods. He didn't score in the second half, but he didn't need to.
Key Stats: The Nets shot just 3-for-8 from the free-throw line compared to 16-for-25 for the Grizzlies. Such a huge free-throw discrepancy is hard to overcome, especially when the Nets were also outrebounded, 37-45.
Who Was Hot: Reggie Evans turned in a pretty solid effort, including a surprise left-handed jump hook in the game's third period. He shot 5-for-7 from the field, scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. For the Grizzlies, Jerryd Bayless commanded the offense and was probably the second best Grizzlies player on the floor tonight. Bayless ended up turning in a solid effort of 11 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
Who Was Not: MarShon Brooks. After not playing in the first half, Brooks was inserted for the injured Williams and didn't help his case to be rewarded with additional minutes. In 12 minutes off the bench, Brooks scored 0 points, shot 0-for-4 and turned the ball over twice. For the Grizzlies, all nine men that played non-garbage time minutes made solid contributions.
Fun Fact: Though it came in a losing effort, Reggie Evans turned in his first double-double as a member of the Nets. His 11 points and 10 rebounds were in vain, unfortunately. The last time Evans recorded a double-double was March 11, 2011. He was a member of the Los Angeles Clippers and on that day, saw his team lose to the Golden State Warriors, despite his 11-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Carlesimo's Nets fall to 12-3 after the loss and though this is a rather humbling defeat, it's not totally unexpected. The Nets struggled on the glass, were out-rebounded, out-muscled and outworked. That, combined with the poor showing from the Big Three, resulted in the blowout.
The Grizzlies now move to 17-6 at home and 28-14 overall.
The good thing about the NBA? There's always another game soon. The Nets will battle the Houston Rockets tomorrow night on the second night of a tough back-to-back.
It shouldn't be too difficult to put forth a better effort.