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Saturday, November 30, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nets 97, Grizzlies 88

By Mike Mazzeo

The Brooklyn Nets snapped a two-game losing streak with a 97-88 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday at the FedEx Forum.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Nets capitalized against a Grizzlies team that also was decimated by injuries. Not that the Nets are going to feel sorry for anyone -- Brooklyn has been shorthanded all season long. The Nets, losers of 10 of their previous 12 games, improved to 5-12 overall, 3-8 away from home.

With the win, the Nets moved to two games behind the idle Toronto Raptors (6-9) for first place in the Atlantic Division and the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. Nine of their next 12 games are at the Barclays Center. If they’re going to right the ship, now’s the time.

Brooklyn nearly blew a 15-point lead, but Mirza Teletovic came up big in the fourth quarter. After Memphis closed to within 75-74, Teletovic scored five consecutive points. The Nets would eventually lead by as many as 16 again. Teletovic had scored 35 points in the previous two games, and scored eight in this one.

INJURY REPORT: Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko, Jason Terry, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph all sat out this game.

JOE’S FLOW: Joe Johnson had 16 first-quarter points -- the most points any Net has scored in a quarter this season. Responding after being benched Friday, Johnson finished with 26 points and six assists on 9-for-15 shooting. After being outscored by 16 points in each of their previous two first quarters, the Nets took a 24-19 lead into the second quarter Saturday night.

BLATCHEDOWN: Andray Blatche drained a career-high three 3-pointers (on three attempts) and scored 21 points in 22 minutes. In his previous 98 games as a Net, Blatche was 4-for-29 from beyond the arc. He also added eight rebounds.

FRONTCOURT FUN: With Gasol and Randolph out, Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett were able to take advantage. Both overcame slow starts to make significant contributions. Lopez, who missed six of his first seven shots, had 20 points (12 in the fourth quarter) and nine rebounds. Garnett, who missed his first three shots, added eight points and five rebounds. Lopez became the ninth player in franchise history to score 6,000 career points.

OF NOTE: The 37 points allowed by the Nets in the first half was their fewest allowed in any half this season. The Nets are 1-3 in the second half of back-to-back sets.

UP NEXT: The Nets have Sunday off, then return to practice Monday.