The Skinny: Marc Gasol scored the first eight points for Memphis to help the Grizzlies open a 10-point lead. But the Nets then went on a 15-2 run to take the lead, aided by two three-pointers from Deron Williams. Brooklyn led by three after the first quarter.
The Grizzlies went back in front on an Austin Daye three-pointer in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Keith Bogans later drained a three to put the Nets back on top. A 12-4 run then helped Memphis regain a seven-point lead late in the quarter, and the Grizzlies led by five at the break.
The offensive pace was extremely slow in the third quarter, but a three-pointer from C.J. Watson with less than three minutes remaining got the Nets back within two. Memphis increased the lead back to four after three.
Andray Blatche had the hot hand to start the fourth quarter to help the Nets take the lead as part of an 8-0 run. Back-and-forth lead changes ensued before Williams hit a three-pointer, giving Brooklyn a four-point lead. Later, a Mirza Teletovic three put the Nets up five. But the Grizzlies fought back to tie on a Mike Conley jumper. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Williams had his layup attempt blocked by Zach Randolph, and at the other end, Teletovic fouled Tony Allen, who made both free-throws to Memphis up two with 19.5 seconds to go. Williams committed a crucial turnover on the next possession, and Conley drilled both free-throws as part of a 9-0 Grizzlies’ run to close out the game.
High Scorers: Williams led all scorers with 24 points on 9-of-15 from the field. For the Grizzlies, Randolph led the way with 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds for the double-double.
Key Stats: The Nets shot 5-of-13 from the free-throw live, leaving eight points on the board, which was a key factor in the four-point loss.
Who Was Hot: Gasol shot 6-of-11 from the field, scored 14 points, pulled down seven rebounds, dished out five assists and blocked four shots. Watson drilled all three of his three-point attempts and finished with 11 points – his fifth straight game of double-digit points. Blatche added 1o points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Who Was Not: Gerald Wallace was 0-of-6 from the field and was held scoreless. Brook Lopez could not get anything going offensively, as he finished 3-of-10 from the floor with nine points. Jerryd Bayless missed all six of his shots from the outside for Memphis.
Fun Fact: Lopez and Memphis forward Quincy Pondexter were high school teammates at San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, Calif.
P.J. Carlesimo said before the game that the Nets would have to limit the turnovers in order to win this game. However, Brooklyn did the complete opposite, committing 18 turnovers on the night.
Yet, the Grizzlies managed only 10 points off those 18 turnovers, but you can’t give up that many possessions against a team known for playing great defense.
Memphis has now won seven straight games and improves its record against Eastern Conference teams to 18-5. They have only given up an average of 85.1 point per game in those 23.
What a terrible finish to this game after it looked like the Nets did just enough early in the fourth quarter to overcome three tough quarters.
It was nice to see a big effort from Williams, who we all know is playing banged up but is still giving his all. Lopez really needed to step up in this one, but once again his ugly play landed him on the bench in the fourth quarter.
Brooklyn (33-24) heads to New Orleans Tuesday night to take on the Hornets – soon to be the Pelicans – which starts a streak of 13 of the next 17 games on the road. The 8 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.