Rapid Reaction: Nets 93, Grizzlies 88
January, 26, 2011
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: The New Jersey Nets capped their five-game homestand just like they started it:with a W. The Nets overcame a 16-point first-quarter deficit to persevere, 93-88, over the Memphis Grizzlies in front of 8,866 fans who braved the snow to attend the Wednesday night game at the Prudential Center. Now 14-32 overall, the Nets closed their homestand 4-1, and would've been undefeated had they not lost by one to the Dallas Mavericks.
TURNING POINT: The Nets who trailed 32-16 after the first quarter, were down by nine early in the fourth quarter. It was 73-65 with nine minutes left, but Sasha Vujacic sparked an 8-0 run with a 3-pointer and the Nets eventually tied the game at 73 apiece on a 3-pointer by Devin Harris with 7:31 remaining. Harris gave the Nets their first lead since 2-0 shortly thereafter, slicing to the bucket for a finger roll that put the Nets up 77-75 with 6:05 left.
They led 88-81 with 1:45 remaining, only to see Memphis fight back with a 6-0 burst to make it a one-point game. But Harris drilled two free throws to give the Nets a 90-87 lead with 10.6 seconds left. Rudy Gay was fouled attempting an alley-oop off a set play out of bounds on the Grizzlies' ensuing possession, but missed the back end of a pair from the stripe. Vujacic had a chance to ice the game away, but he missed his second from the stripe. Luckily, O.J. Mayo's desperation 3-pointer clanged off the back iron and the Nets could exhale.
STAR OF THE GAME: Anthony Morrow. The 25-year-old shooting guard finished with a team-high 19 points off the bench. After missing his first three shots from the field and getting hit below the belt in a collision with Marc Gasol, Morrow knocked down his next five -- two of them 3-pointers -- helping the Nets cut a 16-point deficit to seven in the second quarter. He finished with 14 of his points in the first half. Morrow's most crucial shot -- a 3-pointer from the corner with 3:23 remaining -- proved to be the dagger. It gave the Nets an 84-77 cushion.
RUDY! RUDY! Gay showed the Nets what they’re missing, scoring a game-high 22 points -- including 10 in the opening stanza. The Nets were interested in the dynamic swingman’s services in the offseason, but the Grizzlies locked him up the restricted free agent to a max contract on July 1, the first day of free agency. Good decision.
OF NOTE: The Nets went 9-for-15 from the field in the fourth quarter. They had five players score in double figures. The Grizzlies outscored the Nets 52-40 inside the paint. The Nets went 9-for-17 from 3-point range.
UP NEXT: The Nets play back-to-back road games. They'll be in Indiana to face the Pacers on Friday night before heading to Milwaukee to play the Bucks on Saturday night.