New Jersey Nets: Anthony Morrow

Morrow pays tribute to Petrovic in shootout

February, 25, 2012

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Twenty years ago, former Nets shooting guard Drazen Petrovic participated in the 3-point shootout at NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando.

Saturday night in Orlando, Nets shooting guard Anthony Morrow celebrated the legacy of Petrovic, who was killed in a car crash in 1993. Morrow wore the Croatian's authentic No. 3 jersey that was designed by Mitchell & Ness, the company that made throwback uniforms popular.

While Morrow couldn't make it to the semifinals -- Petrovic did in '92 -- he embraced the opportunity to honor the Nets legend, who averaged 21.4 points per game in his last two seasons in New Jersey.

Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty ImagesAnthony Morrow honored Drazen Petrovic on Saturday night.

"It was a great feeling," said Morrow, who finished the first round with 14 points. "I just wanted to make his family and his country proud."

After the competition, took part in a small Q&A session with Morrow. Here are 10 highlights:

Q.) What was it like to wear Drazen's jersey?
A.) It felt good. I like the Drazen jersey. We should wear these sometimes, man. It was cool. I'm glad I had a chance to honor him, even though I came up short.

Q.) Will you wear it again in a future shootout?
A.) I don't know if I'll wear this again. I think it's a one-time tribute thing.

Q.) What did you take away from tonight?
A.) Hopefully next year, I'll get a practice run before I go out there. But it was fun just to shoot the ball. If I had got to the second round, I would've had all the jitters out of my hand, and would've made even more shots. But it was fun, man. I had a good time.

Q.) Did shooting in the event feel different than usual?
A.) Not really, but I had problems getting the ball up right. I was trying to keep my eye on the rim, so in the future I'll make sure I glance down at the ball. Because I'm not really losing time with it. I probably rushed with the money balls. But, like I said, it was my first time. I got that top-of-the-key rack, I felt good, but I got tired in the last one. The money balls are very important. If I made two more of those, I would've had 18 or so.

Q.) Did you hear from the NBA stars sitting courtside?
A.) I heard Deron [Williams]. Deron was over there cheering me on, so that was cool.

Q.) How's the overall All-Star experience been for you?
A.) It's great. I'm competitive, so I'm pissed off I didn't win it. I really know if I got to that second round, I really would've made a good run for it. But I was messing with the other guys, like Kevin [Love]. I was like, "Now ya'll wanna shoot. First, you make one out of the first two racks. Now ya'll wanna shoot." In the first round, they were just on fire, but I'm really happy for Kevin [Love], man. He deserved it.

Q.) What's the best way to shoot in this kind of thing? Jumping or standstill?
A.) You've just got to shoot your normal shot. When you go around [the rack], you have to make a judgment. I didn't really have a chance to really do that. That's the main thing. But overall, I think I learned from the stuff I did and seeing what the other guys were doing.

Q: What's your plan for the rest of the weekend?
A.) Oh man, just have fun. Go back, see my family, just hang out.

Q.) How do you see the second half of the season starting off?
A.) I think we can make a strong push. First we got Brook [Lopez] back. MarShon [Brooks] is fully recovered from his foot injury. I mean, we've got little nagging injuries, but this break has been good for us. We've got Dallas, another good team, on the road [Tuesday night]. We're playing well on the road. We've got to come to practice focused Monday and just get ready for the second half of the season.

Q.) What are the team's keys for turning things around?
A.) The difference that Brook is making, the spacing that he's creating for everybody else so far. He hasn't even gotten his legs or his wind back. It's made it easier for Deron. Of course, he still has to be aggressive offensively and so do I, and so does MarShon. Kris [Humphries] is going to do his thing. All the pieces are falling in. We've got everything we need. [DeShawn Stevenson] is making shots now. So as long as everybody does what they're supposed to do, and we stay together as a team, I think we can make a run.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Everybody hates Kris; Morrow loses teeth

February, 21, 2012
NEW YORK -- Clearly there's something about Kris Humphries that gets under people's skin.

The crowd booed Kim Kardashian's ex all night, Carmelo Anthony tripped him and Tyson Chandler followed him halfway into the Nets' huddle.

Chris Trotman/Getty ImagesAnthony Morrow lost four teeth after taking an elbow from Carmelo Anthony.

The Knicks downplayed the incidents after the Nets won 100-92 at the Garden on Monday night.

"[It was] just nerves and [being] tired and we just don't like getting beat," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Nothing major."

It seemed that the Nets took the worst of the physicality. Humphries had scratches on his face after the game. Nets guard Anthony Morrow lost four teeth to a Melo elbow.

"It was physical from start to finish," Amare Stoudemire said. "You have to expect that from those guys. They're going to try and play us very physical. That's the way they play; we have to expect that."

The Nets (10-24) certainly came across the river with an edge. It started with Deron Williams, who recorded 38 points, six assists and a career-high eight 3-pointers. He made a point to stick it to Jeremy Lin, who started his rise to international stardom by outplaying Williams at the Garden on Feb. 4, sparking a seven-game winning streak for the Knicks.

Both Lin and Williams fouled out in the fourth quarter on Monday. Lin finished with 21 points, nine assists and seven boards.

Debby Wong/US PresswireKris Humphries had the Knicks' attention Monday.

But the game increasingly became physical under the basket. On one play in the third quarter, Humphries (14 points, 14 rebounds) was tangled with Chandler in the paint, positioning for a rebound, and appeared to push him to the ground. Anthony took exception and poked out his leg to trip Humphries as he went downcourt, and was called for a technical.

"It happens in the course the game," said Anthony, who went 4-for-11 with 11 points, six assists and six turnovers in his first game back from a right groin strain. "It happens. I made a mistake and tripped him."

Chandler was bumping with Humphries much of the night. Humphries and Chandler collided twice on one play in the fourth before Humphries was called for an offensive foul. The two started jawing and, after the Nets called timeout, Chandler followed Humphries into the New Jersey huddle and grabbed him by the arm, which earned Chandler a technical.

"I didn’t think I fouled him to start the play," Humphries said. "I just think he was a little overhyped and came over and slapped me on the arm or something. I don't know. It is what it is. We were just playing ball."

Asked if Humphries probably wouldn't meet with the 7-1 Chandler for dinner after the game, Humphries said: "I'll probably see him later. He's a nice guy. Some people might put it on out there, but off the court he's a gentle giant."

You can follow Christopher Hunt on Twitter.

Morrow to honor Drazen at 3-Point Shootout

February, 20, 2012
Getty ImagesAnthony Morrow and Drazen Petrovic.
Nets shooting guard Anthony Morrow will take part in his first 3-point contest on All-Star Saturday night -- but he won't be wearing No. 22.

Instead, Morrow has elected to wear No. 3 to honor former Nets great Drazen Petrovic, who died in a car crash in the summer of 1993 at the age of 28.

"I like throwback jerseys anyway, but it's just a blessing to be able to shoot in a 3-point contest, and I think it's important that I honor a great person and a great shooter,” Morrow said before the Nets took on the Knicks on Monday night at the Garden.

Morrow came up with the idea on his own. He was inspired after watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Once Brothers," about the friendship between Petrovic and Vlade Divac.

"We had to go through the league, they approved it, so as far as I know I can wear the jersey," Morrow said.

Morrow is the second-most accurate 3-point shooter in the NBA history, and has converted at just over a 41 percent clip from beyond the arc this season.

He was installed as the favorite to win the contest by Las Vegas.

"That's cool," Morrow said. "I never thought I would've been picked as the favorite, but it's cool."

Petrovic was an emerging star at the time of his death. He averaged more than 20 points per game in his only two full seasons with the Nets, and was known for his long-range marksmanship. The Nets retired his No. 3 jersey in 1993 and he was enshrined posthumously in the Basketball Hall of Fame nine years later.

Morrow (family death) out Monday night

February, 5, 2012
Nets shooting guard Anthony Morrow will miss Monday night's game against the Bulls due to the death of his grandmother, he told reporters after Saturday night's loss to the Knicks.

"I've dedicated that 42 point game to her, Lillie Morrow RIP Granny!" Morrow tweeted.

Morrow, who had the best game of his career Friday night vs. Minnesota, said he'll return to the team on Tuesday.

• Power forward Kris Humphries fended off boos from the Garden crowd to score 20 points and grab 12 rebounds on Saturday.

"I love it," Humphries said, using the new team motto. "It motivated me."

Humphries went 5-for-9 from the field and 10-for-12 from the free throw stripe.

The Nets were at their best when he and point guard Deron Williams were working the high pick-and-roll in tandem. Humphries had 14 points and five rebounds in the third quarter.

• Point guard Jordan Farmar had 19 points off the bench. D-Will had 11 assists. Morrow scored just 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting.

D-Will's miscues overshadow Morrow

February, 3, 2012
Anthony Morrow was camped out behind the 3-point arc in the left corner, wide open with 2.4 seconds left.

All Deron Williams had to do was hit him.

"I'm sure everyone in the arena had confidence that he was gonna knock down that shot," Williams said.

Jeyhoun Allebaugh/Getty ImagesAnthony Morrow had the hot hand, going 8-for-11 from 3-point range and 13-for-20 overall.

Unfortunately, Morrow -- having the best game of his career -- never got a chance to take it.

Williams committed a turnover for the third time in the final 95 seconds, losing control of the ball as he was about to make the pass to his backcourt partner and sealing the Nets' fate: a deflating 108-105 loss to the Timberwolves on Friday night at Prudential Center.

"I like those situations the most, and when I do something like that, it definitely upsets me. It's on me. I told the team, it's my fault," said Williams, whose trio of gaffes overshadowed a career-high 42-point performance by Morrow, who became the first Net since Vince Carter to have 40-plus points in a game.

Carter scored 41 in Los Angeles against the Clippers on March 15, 2009.

"A-Mo was amazing," Williams said. "There's no way we'd be in this game if it wasn't for him."

True. And D-Will certainly wasn't of any help. After averaging 29 points and 8.6 assists in his team's last five games, the Nets' point guard went just 5-for-18 from the field and committed six turnovers.

"It happens. You can't be great in every pressure situation. It happens," Williams said.

On Friday night, it didn't just happen once, though. Or twice. It happened three times. All with the game on the line.

First, with the game knotted at 99, Williams threw an errant pass to Morrow, and Luke Ridnour drained a 3-pointer on the other end to give the T-Wolves the lead for good.

Then, Williams proceeded to dribble the ball off his leg as he was driving the lane with 29.9 seconds left. Ridnour knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a five-point game.

Morrow's career-high eighth 3-pointer of the game and third four-point play of the season made it 104-103. He was ready to catch and drain another. If only. Ricky Rubio scooped up Williams' final miscue and threw the ball down to the other end of the floor.

"He was just attacking and lost the ball," coach Avery Johnson said of Williams. "We were trying to run something for Anthony and they just got their hands on the ball, and unfortunately it didn't work out for us."

Morrow sscored 17 points in the final stanza and 15 in the second quarter, as the Nets ended up rallying from double-digit deficits on two different occasions.

"He was on fire. Our guys were finding him, setting great screens for him, and he was letting it fly," Johnson said of Morrow, who went 13-for-20 from the field, 8-for-11 from 3-point land and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw stripe. "Every play that we drew up for him he executed it perfectly. I think he was perfect and special. It was a special performance."

Morrow's previous career-high was 37 points in his NBA debut with the Warriors on Nov. 15, 2008.

"I thought about that night a little bit," Morrow said. "But we got the win that night."

The Nets might have, too, had Morrow gotten a chance to take that last shot.

Rapid Reaction: T-Wolves 108, Nets 105

February, 3, 2012

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WHAT IT MEANS: Oh, the heartbreak. The Nets rallied from double-digit deficits on two occasions, but came up on the losing end of a 108-105 decision to the visiting Timberwolves on Friday night. The Nets dropped to 8-16 overall, 3-7 at home.

A-MO: Anthony Morrow had 15 of his career-high 42 points in the second quarter, igniting a 28-9 run with four 3-pointers, as the Nets turned a 14-point deficit into a five-point lead. Morrow finished with a career-high eight 3-pointers.

D-WILL: The Rock hates Deron Williams, too. He shot just 5-for-18 from the field there on Friday night, scoring 12 points. Granted, he did have 14 assists and snagged five rebounds.

TURNING POINT: A turnover by D-Will on a pass intended for Morrow led to a Luke Ridnour 3-pointer on the other end with 1:23 remaining, which snapped a 99-all tie. Shawne Williams' 3-pointer on the ensuing Nets possession rolled in and out, and D-Will committed another turnover when a ball caromed off his legs with 29.9 seconds left. Ridnour hit two free throws to make it 104-99, and Morrow followed with a four-point play to get the Nets within one. The teams exchanged points from there before D-Will committed his third critical turnover and the Nets fell.

PEK-ING UP THE SLACK: Kevin Love was just 5-for-16 from the field, but Nikola Pekovic stepped it up off the bench, scoring a team-high 27 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

HUMPTY HUMP: Kris Humphries shook off a 1-for-8 start to finish with 16 points and nine rebounds.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Humphries' emphatic block on Michael Beasley in the second quarter.

STAT OF THE GAME: The Timberwolves outscored the Nets in the paint, 52-38.

UP NEXT: Nets at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Nets to play with eight against Pistons

February, 1, 2012
The New Jersey Nets will have just eight healthy players for Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons.

Small forward DeShawn Stevenson will miss at least two weeks with a right knee injury, center Johan Petro is out with flu-like symptoms, while shooting guard Anthony Morrow was a late scratch with a sore left ankle.

“I’m not going to miss another game, hopefully,” Morrow said. “It happened last year, and I missed like two practices or something like that.”

Stevenson will be reevaluated on Feb. 14, coach Avery Johnson said. Morrow injured his ankle in Tuesday night’s 106-99 loss in Indiana.

The Nets will be forced to go with their 12th different starting lineup in their first 23 games: Jordan Farmar, Deron Williams, Shawne Williams, Kris Humphries and Shelden Williams.

Guard Keith Bogans, who was signed by the team Wednesday, will make his season debut and play a minimum of 12 minutes, despite not being in game shape just yet.

Other than Bogans, Sundiata Gaines and Jordan Williams are the team’s only healthy bench players.

Center Brook Lopez remains out with a broken right foot, small forward Damion James is out for the season after undergoing right foot surgery, rookie shooting guard MarShon Brooks is out indefinitely with a broken toe and center Mehmet Okur isn’t expected back until the end of this week or perhaps early next week with a sore lower back.

Rapid Reaction: Hawks 106, Nets 101

January, 9, 2012
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WHAT IT MEANS: Atlanta lead by 13 with 3:36 left, but New Jersey still had a chance in the waning seconds of the game. That means when their shooters are hitting -- and they haven't been lately -- the Nets can be more competitive than their 2-8 record indicates.

SLOW STARTS: Avery Johnson said before the game that his team had yet to embarrass themselves on defense. Then Atlanta went out and shot 63.6 percent from the field in the first quarter. New Jersey was outscored 31-18 in the period, mirroring their first quarter against Miami. Of the six different scorers for the Nets, none scored more than one field goal in the first and the team shot 29.4 from the floor.

MORROW BIG IN FOURTH: Anthony Morrow scored 10 points in the fourth quarter that almost brought the Nets all the way back. First, Jeff Teague fouled him on a 3-point attempt. Then Teague hit a floater after the free throws. Morrow responded with a 3-pointer and another jumper before finding Kris Humphries for a layup to get the crowd at The Rock rocking again and cut the lead to 100-95 with 58.7 seconds left. Morrow hit another three with four seconds left that put New Jersey within three.

LIVING AND DYING BY THE 3: Atlanta's bigs sucked the Nets into the paint, which left the 3-point line wide open for Vladmir Radmanovic and Teague. Radmonovic, who started in place of injured Marvin Williams, made 4 of 11 from three. Teague hit all three of his attempts.

BROOKS AS A STARTER: Rookie MarShon Brooks was impressive in his second career start with 19 points and 10 rebounds while filling in for DeShawn Stevenson, who was a last-minute scratch with a sore left knee. Brooks gave the Nets a lift in the third quarter with 11 points, making three treys. In his first start, against Boston on Jan. 4, he scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the first half.

D-WILL: Atlanta gave the Nets point guard Deron Williams different looks, guarding him with Teague and sometimes 6-7 forward Joe Johnson. But Williams picked his spots on offense, ran defenders off multiple screens and continued to trust his wing players from the 3-point line. He record his second straight double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 assists, while shooting 6-for-17.

UP NEXT: The Nets head out to start a grueling four-game West Coast road trip, starting in Denver on Wednesday. Then New Jersey will play back-to-back games Friday and Saturday against Phoenix and Utah, before matching up with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.

Rapid Reaction: The 2012 All-Star ballot

January, 4, 2012
The NBA All-Star ballots were released Wednesday, and the voting has begun.

The All-Star Game will take place on Feb. 26 at Orlando’s Amway Arena.

The voting will end on Jan. 31 and the starters will be announced on Feb. 2 on TNT prior to the Knicks-Bulls game.

The Nets have three players on the ballot: point guard Deron Williams, shooting guard Anthony Morrow (huh?) and power forward Kris Humphries.

Quick thoughts:

• Williams is the Nets' only chance. It was nice of them to put Morrow on the ballot, given how well he played last season, but he's shooting just 28.1 percent from the field right now and has already lost his starting spot. If only they could swap Morrow with rookie MarShon Brooks. There are too many good two-guards in the Eastern Conference for Brooks to make the team, but he definitely deserves to be on the ballot. The 22-year-old is currently second among all rookies in scoring (13.7 points per game), and that should increase. He'll make his first NBA start Wednesday night in Boston.

• The NBA owes Morrow for his 3-point contest snub last season. He's only shooting 28.6 percent from downtown in 2011-12, but if he gets his percentage to a more respectable range, he deserves an invite. After all, he came into this season as the second-most accurate 3-point marksman in league history.

• Humphries, who is currently out with a sprained left shoulder, is averaging a double-double right now and definitely deserves to be on the ballot. But the 26-year-old will likely come up short in what is a star-studded crop of forwards. Everyone knows who Humphries is -- so he has that going for him -- but remember: He was voted as the most disliked player in the league.

• Center Brook Lopez would definitely be on the ballot if he was healthy, but he's out with a broken foot, so obviously he wasn't going to make the cut. If he was healthy and his rebounding numbers were up, he probably would've made the team.

You can follow Mike Mazzeo on Twitter.

Flight of the Concords: Best retro Jordans?

December, 23, 2011
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Damion James and Anthony Morrow have a bit of a sneaker battle going on. Morrow says that he has "way more Jordans" that James. But he hasn't been able to land the new Nike Air Jordan XI Retro Concords, the sneaker that's been causing consumer havoc across the country.

James got a hold of the Concords before they were released at midnight Friday morning. The fact that he has a Nike contract does make it a little unfair, though. Morrow said that his "connection" in Atlanta didn't work out, so he's still on the lookout for a pair of his own.

"I always find a way to get the shoes. I know I'll get them," Morrow said.

The Air Jordan Concords are arguably the most anticipated re-release of an Air Jordan sneaker. But the conversation begged the question: What are the best retro Air Jordans ever released (or re-released)?

James gave the nod to the Cool Greys. Morrow said the Concords top his list but gave honorable mention to the Air Jordan V.

So we'll pose the question to you. What are the best retro Air Jordans ever released? What's your top three?

Christmas Countdown: Backcourt breakdown

December, 18, 2011
Continuing through Dec. 23, will run a series called "Christmas Countdown" examining a hot topic each day that involves the New Jersey Nets.

Today's Hot Topic: Backcourt breakdown

Last season, only one player in the NBA averaged 20 points and 10 assists per game: Deron Williams.

Nets GM Billy King pulled off a blockbuster trade so that Williams could anchor his team's backcourt.

The superstar point guard can do it all, from finding an open teammate to finishing at the rim off dribble-drive penetration. He's also capable of playing tenacious defense when he wants to. And most importantly, he's healthy coming off offseason surgery on his right shooting wrist.

AP Photo/Tom HeveziDeron Williams (left) and Anthony Morrow will be the Nets' starting backcourt.

Joining Williams in the Nets' starting backcourt this season will be Anthony Morrow, the second most-accurate 3-point shooter in league history (.465). Only former Bull Steve Kerr has a better 3-point field goal percentage than Morrow, who briefly surpassed Kerr for the honor in 2010-11.

Morrow isn't a great defender by any means, but he has the uncanny ability to make shots in crunch time, and opposing defenses won't be able to key in on him late in games because the Nets will also have long-range threat Shawne Williams on the floor as well.

The Nets finished 28th in points per game last season, so they'll be looking to rookie MarShon Brooks to provide a scoring spark off the bench. Brooks was the second leading collegiate scorer in the nation at Providence last year, and coach Avery Johnson wants the 22-year-old to be aggressive -- even at the expense of hoisting up some bad shots.

Brooks loves to create off the dribble and has a potent fadeaway jumper from about 15 to 20 feet. Like Morrow, his defense still leaves much to be desired, but he's young and if there's anybody who can help him improve on the defensive end, it's Johnson.

Jordan Farmar and Sundiata Gaines will serve as the team's backup point guards behind Williams. Farmar or Gaines may also play with Williams on occasion, allowing the two-time All-Star to shift over to the two-guard spot and operate off screens without the ball in his hands. Farmar needs to improve his shot selection, while for Gaines, it's all about consistency.

Johnson was pleased that all three of his point guards played overseas during the lockout, and feels like they'll be ready to play from the start of the 2011-12 campaign.

Given the uncertainly at power forward, there's no question that the guard spot is the Nets' deepest position right now.

Bench carries Nets to victory over Grizzlies

January, 26, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. -- After being outscored 32-16 by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first quarter, the New Jersey Nets were in desperate need a lift.

They got one from their bench.

The Nets' reserves combined to outscore their Grizzlies counterparts 56-12 and ultimately came away with their fourth victory in their last five games, 93-88 Wednesday night at the Prudential Center.

AP Photo/Bill KostrounKris Humphries came off the bench to score 14 points and grab seven rebounds.

Anthony Morrow led the way with a team-high 19 points, while Sasha Vujacic and Kris Humphries each finished with 14 points off the pine.

"Our bench was special," head coach Avery Johnson said. "They were really good tonight. Our starters needed a lift and we've been talking about our bench and them getting their own identity. They take it really personal in practice when they play against the starters, which is really fun to watch now. It was good to see their production. That was an area we thought we could win the battle."

Morrow inflicted much of his damage in the first half, and Vujacic and Humphries ignited the Nets in the second half.

Morrow’s 12 second-quarter points helped the Nets stay in the game. They went to the locker room down 53-42, but, if not for Morrow, it could've been worse.

He missed his first three shots from the floor, but ended up connecting on five straight, finishing the first half with 14 points.

"We don't want to tinker with anything," Johnson said of Morrow, who will continue to come off the bench after returning from a hamstring injury which caused him to miss 17 games. "We're feeling pretty good. This was a good homestand for us."

The Nets trailed by eight with 9:12 remaining, but Vujacic ignited an 8-0 run with a 3-pointer that brought the Nets back to even.

Morrow drained a crucial 3-pointer that put the Nets up 84-77 with 3:23 remaining. And Humphries -- aside from playing great defense on Zach Randolph, who went 3-for-8 in the final 12 minutes -- made two key free throws with 2:45 left to keep Memphis at bay.

Humphries had 12 points and five rebounds in the second half on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting and 2-for-2 from the stripe. Meanwhile, Morrow and Vujacic combined to hit six of the Nets’ nine 3-pointers.

"We had a full team effort tonight," point guard Devin Harris said. "I thought we got out to a lethargic start and I thought the bench came in the second quarter and really gave us a boost."

Rapid Reaction: Nets 93, Grizzlies 88

January, 26, 2011

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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.

Anthony Morrow comes up big in return

January, 21, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. -- The reporters waited. Then waited some more.

The star of the game had yet to emerge from his shower.

When New Jersey Nets shooting guard Anthony Morrow finally did manage to mosey his way into the locker room, one of the reporters asked him what took so long.

David Dow/NBAE/Getty ImagesBrook Lopez and the Nets were glad to have Anthony Morrow (22) back on the court.

"We've waited 17 games already," the reporter joked.

Everyone burst into laughter.

Had Morrow -- playing for the first time since he strained his hamstring on Dec. 14 against the Philadelphia 76ers -- missed just one more shot after coming up empty on his first four, it would've been no laughing matter.

But with 1.8 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Morrow finally got a 3-pointer to fall. So head coach Avery Johnson left him in, then proceeded to run a play for Morrow on the team's second possession of the fourth. He made that one, too. Morrow followed that swish with another 3-pointer off a pass from Jordan Farmar.

All of a sudden, the Nets were up 72-62 with 10:40 remaining -- and well on their way to consecutive wins for the first time since Dec. 19-21.

"I was just about to take him out of the game," Johnson said of Morrow, who wound up going 4-for-8 from the field and scoring 10 points in 14 minutes, as the Nets went on to roll past the Detroit Pistons 89-74 Friday night at the Prudential Center.

"Tonight, he was coming up on his minute restriction and he was struggling a little bit getting up and down the floor. But when he hit that 3 I said, 'We'll leave him in there.' I ran a play for him and he hit one. I ran another one and he made it. So it was good that he helped get us a nice cushion."

The Nets (12-31), came in as one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA. Prior to Friday night’s game, they ranked 27th in both field goal percentage (.439) and 3-point field goal percentage (.332).

That’s why they were elated to have Morrow -- the second most-accurate 3-point shooter in NBA history (.451 career, .411 in 2010-11) -- back in the lineup. And they were even more elated when he finally found his shot, stretching a four-point lead to double digits.

"I just wanted to get the first few shots out of the way and just keep plugging," said Morrow, who went 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. "I’m glad I could contribute and help the team win."

They may not have had Morrow not drained that 3-pointer from the right wing off a pass from Kris Humphries, which gave the Nets a 67-60 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.

All of a sudden, his confidence was restored. For most marksmen like Morrow, it only takes one shot.

"It felt good [to get that first one]," Morrow said. "I knew Hump was gonna pass it to me. It was the end of the quarter; gave us some momentum. Anytime you can get a shot to go down when you’re a shooter and a scorer and get some momentum going, it’s a good thing."

Now the Nets have to hope Morrow stays healthy and continues to rip the chord from the perimeter the way he did on Friday night.

"I’m still getting my game legs under me," Morrow said. "That's gonna take a couple games. But other than that, conditioning wise, I felt great. It’s just a matter of getting my timing back."

Johnson said he’s going to continue to play Morrow about 15 minutes per game until he’s 100 percent.

He's wasn’t even going to get that much time had that shot with 1.8 seconds left in the third not gone down.

Luckily for Morrow, it did.

"He basically put the game away for us with those 3-point shots," Johnson said.
The New Jersey Nets' attempts to acquire Denver's Carmelo Anthony are "further along" than any trade scenario that has been discussed since their near-acquisition of Anthony in late September, according to sources close to the negotiations.

A three-team deal involving the Detroit Pistons that would include at least 15 players -- with Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups winding up in New Jersey with Anthony -- could be completed as soon as this week, sources said.

The primary elements of the scenario currently on the table, sources said, call for New Jersey to acquire Anthony, Billups and Hamilton; Denver to land Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow and at least two first-round picks; and Detroit to acquire Troy Murphy and Johan Petro.

Other players with smaller contracts would have to be included to make the salary-cap math work.  Full story

Agent: You can count Billups out »



Brook Lopez
20.7 0.9 0.5 31.4
ReboundsK. Garnett 6.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.1
StealsD. Williams 1.5
BlocksB. Lopez 1.8