By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The Memphis Grizzlies, who rank second in defense in the NBA, brought it on offense on Friday night, as they beat the Nets 101-77 on Friday night.
The Grizzlies dominated early, opening up a 32-22 lead at the end of the first quarter. Brook Lopez was the only Net able to do anything on offense, scoring nine points in the opening quarter.
It continued in the second quarter, and the Grizzlies led 67-44 at halftime. The 67 points scored by Memphis were the most allowed by the Nets in a half this season.
The Grizzlies kept it going to open the third quarter, as Mike Conley had seven points and Tony Allen had a basket to make it 76-46 Memphis in the opening minutes.
The Nets got as close as 20 when Deron Williams hit a jumper with 3:35 left in the third quarter to make it 79-59 Memphis.
Right after that, there was some worry, as Williams bumped knees with a Memphis player who was setting a pick. He left with what appeared to be a sprained knee. Nets Head Coach P.J. Carlesimo said Williams would have gone back in during the fourth quarter if they made a run.
Memphis was led by Marc Gasol with 20 points (10–for-15 from the field) and nine rebounds. Zach Randolph had 12 points and nine rebounds and dominated on defense all night.
The key for Memphis was the performance of their bench, as Tony Wroten and Jerryd Bayless had 11 points each and Chris Johnson had 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting.
For the Nets, Brook Lopez led the way with 18 points, right along his season average of 18.6 points-per-game, on 8-for-15 from the field, with four rebounds.
Deron Williams had 12 points (4-10 FG) with six assists. Joe Johnson was held to 11 points on 4-for-10 shooting, his lowest point total since he had 12 on New Year’s Eve in San Antonio. Reggie Evans contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.
The Nets’ midwestern swing concludes Saturday night against Jeremy Lin and the Rockets in Houston.