Nets snap 5-game losing skid

January 24, 2009 8:07:36 PM PST
Vince Carter scored 23 points and Devin Harris added 17 points and eight assists as the New Jersey Nets snapped a five-game losing skid with a 99-88 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. The game was close early in the fourth quarter, but the Nets outscored the Grizzlies 27-18 in the period, sending them to their ninth straight loss.

O.J. Mayo scored 23 points to lead the Grizzlies, who were playing their second game under interim coach Johnny Davis, who took over when Marc Iavaroni was fired Thursday. Memphis is scheduled to introduce new coach Lionel Hollins at a press conference Sunday.

Memphis was within 74-73 in the early minutes of the fourth, but New Jersey rattled off eight straight points, including a pair of 3-pointers by Dooling to give the Nets the lead.

New Jersey would not trail the rest of the way. Carter's 3-pointer with 1:31 left built the lead to 97-84 and the Nets eventually would lead by 15 down the stretch.

Memphis' first-quarter miseries continued as the Grizzlies opened the game shooting only 35 percent from the field. That allowed the Nets to hold an early 10-point advantage. Initially, Memphis seemed to run few plays, relying on a one-on-one offensive plan.

Meanwhile, Carter missed only one of his six shots in the period for 10 early points before ending up with 13 points at halftime.

Memphis was able to cut into the Nets' lead, pulling within 36-3, but Harris' jumper in the final seconds of the half gave New Jersey a 47-40 lead at the break.

Both teams shot 42 percent in the half, but were ineffective outside the arc with the Nets connecting on only three of their 13 shots in the half, while Memphis missed four of its five shots from long range.

Memphis didn't get a player in double figures until Mayo's 3-pointer with 7:21 to go in the third period. A short time later, Brook Lopez scored on a dunk, extending the Nets' lead to double-digits again.

The Grizzlies would stay close, eventually overtaking the Nets 70-69 on a 3-pointer by Mayo, who scored 12 points in the third period. But Simmons answered with his own 3-pointer to help New Jersey carry a 72-70 lead into the fourth.

Notes: Memphis has scheduled a press conference for Sunday to introduce Hollins as the new coach. ... The Nets earned their second victory in seven games in Memphis. ... The game was the third of New Jersey's four-game road streak. The last stop is Oklahoma City on Monday. ... New Jersey F Yi Jianlian missed his seventh game after breaking the fifth finger on his right hand against Milwaukee on Jan. 9. ... Nets G Chris Douglas-Roberts, who played at the University of Memphis, received a warm reception from the crowd when he entered early in the second quarter. ... The five-game skid was New Jersey's worst of the season. ... Memphis is 0-17 when the Grizzlies score under 20 points in the first quarter. Memphis scored only 17 in the opening period against the Nets.