The Nets survived a furious 4th quarter run by the shorthanded Grizzlies - and moved to within two games of the 8th seeded Celtics - by recording just their 5th victory of the season in Memphis tonight.
As usual, the Nets were shorthanded themselves in this one, with the ailing Paul Pierce sitting out and Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry seemingly nowhere near ready to get back to game action.
Brook Lopez was the obvious choice to pick up the slack, but he looked rusty early against the depleted Memphis frontcourt (Zach Randolph was a late scratch with an ingrown toenail, joining Marc Gasol on the sidelines.) Instead it was Joe Johnson who jumpstarted the Nets' offense - with a 16 point 1st quarter barrage on his way to a team high 26.
Andray Blatche then proceeded to fill up the score sheet (21 points, 8 rebounds, 7-10 shooting, 3-3 from three) and helped the Nets build a healthy 15 point 3rd quarter lead. Jason Kidd had high praise for Blatche's defense as well. In a quote never heard in Washington, Kidd said, "Dray was totally into the game ... When he's talking out there, he's like KG, a guy other guys can feed off of."
However, the Grizz, led by backup G Quincy Pondexter (22 points, 8-12 shooting, 3-5 from three) cut that lead down to one early in the 4th. Would panic set in? Would the league's worst defensive team play true to form and drop yet another game on the road?
The answer game in the form of some huge shots of the fingertips of Mirza Teletovic - righting the ship and giving the Nets some breathing room.
And from there, Lopez took over, pouring in 13 of his 20 points in the 4th and burying the Grizzlies for good.
- The banged-up Nets needed a starter, so Kidd tabbed Tyshawn Taylor to make his first NBA start. He wasn't much of a factor (2-5, 6 points, 0 assists, 3 TO), but it speaks to the work he's putting in that he got the nod.
- Blatche drained a career-high 3 three-pointers - matching his total from last season. He also took on a lot of the ball-handling duties in the absence of a true PG in the Nets' lineup. This guy is not your average backup center.
- Reggie Evans was a healthy scratch.
Grizzlies recap from Grizzly Bear Blues: Four All-Stars sit as Nets trump Grizzlies in Memphis
- Box Score - NBA.com
- Nets vs. Grizzlies (Video) - NBA.com
- Johnson scores 26, Nets beat Grizzlies 97-88 - Clay Bailey - AP
- Johnson, Lopez leads Nets past Grizzlies - Reuters
- Nets vs. Grizzlies (Video) - NBA.com
- Allen Steal and Layup (Video) - NBA.com
- Conley Finds Allen (Video) - NBA.com
- Blatche to Plumlee (Video) - NBA.com
- Defense Leads to Offense (Video) - NBA.com
- Conley hits the Floater (Video) - NBA.com
- Davis Finishes (Video) - NBA.com
- Kidd on Brooklyn's bounce-back win over Memphis (Video) - YES Network
- Johnson on Nets' road victory over Grizzlies (Video) - Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Teletovic discusses his performance on Saturday (Video) - YES Network
- Mason Plumlee Reaches Into Stratosphere And Throws Down The Alley-OOP From Andray Blatche (Video) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Rapid Reaction: Nets 97, Grizzlies 88 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets looks like different team in Memphis - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Kevin Garnett makes his presence known as Nets show fight during win over Grizzlies - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets take much-needed win over shorthanded Grizzlies - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets' Paul Pierce sits with bruised shooting hand - Rod Boone - Newsday
- With Lopez Back, Nets Defeat Depleted Grizzlies - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- When Coaching Gamesmanship Gets in the Way - Andrew Keh & Lynn Zinser - New York Times
- Nets offense rebounds to beat Grizzlies - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Another solid outing for KG - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Pierce, missing Boston, not having fun yet in Brooklyn - Mike Vaccaro - New York Post
- Joe Johnson lifts Nets past Grizzlies, 97-88 - Joe Johnson lifts Nets past Grizzlies, 97-88 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets notes: Paul Pierce sits out - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Bear Down: Nets 97, Grizzlies 88 (GAME GRADES) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets get Garnett they traded for in win - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Brook Lopez May Have Played His Best Ever In The Post Last Night - The Brooklyn Game
Nets - Grizzlies Recap: Brooklyn Wins On Road - Raphael Astrow - From Russia with Dunk
- Grizzlies lose fourth straight at home, this time to Nets - Ronald Tillery - The Commercial Appeal