Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/3

Game 1: Wednesday, December 3rd
Game 2: Saturday, December 13th

Nets 93

(7-11, 2-6 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 3, 2003

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    MEM 19 27 27 2396
    NJ 17 23 29 2493

    Top Performers

    Memphis: P. Gasol 19 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    New Jersey: R. Jefferson 24 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Grizzlies find a way to hang on

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The Memphis Grizzlies are playing so well, they're starting to the benefit of the doubt from the officials on the road.

    James Posey and Pau Gasol scored 19 points apiece and the surprising Grizzlies took advantage of a non-call by the referees and three mistakes down the stretch by Jason Kidd to beat the reeling New Jersey Nets 96-93 Wednesday night.

    "What's happening is that we're finally getting the right plays for the right guys to run the clock and make something happen," coach Hubie Brown said after the Grizzlies won their third straight and handed the Nets their fourth straight loss.

    With a record of 9-8, this is the latest in a season the Grizzlies have been over .500.

    In a game that featured 54 personal fouls and 65 free throws, the Nets were stunned there wasn't one more foul and two more free throws.

    Kidd, who missed a free throw and turned the ball over twice in the final 1:56, didn't get the benefit of his star status when the officials declined to call a foul as he made contact with Stromile Swift on an off-balance layup attempt with less than two seconds to play. The Nets trailed 95-93 at the time.

    "The last play was get to the basket and try to get a basket or get fouled or find somebody open," Kidd said after the Nets lost at home for the sixth time in eight games. "I thought I did everything possible to go to the free throw line. Unfortunately, the referees didn't think so."

    Kidd understood that the Grizzlies probably felt he was looking for a bailout call from either Violet Palmer, Mike Callahan or Gary Zielinski.

    "That's basketball at it's best," said Kidd, who had 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. "Unfortunately, that crew missed a good game. It was a good game up to that point."

    Kidd then paused for a second.

    "That's not going to get me a fine, either,'

    Lorenzen Wright added 14 points for the Grizzlies, while Earl Watson and Shane Battier had 12 apiece.

    Richard Jefferson had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Kenyon Martin added 20 points for the Nets, who rallied from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to take 91-89 lead.

    The Grizzlies played their second straight game without point guard Jason Williams, who is sidelined with back spasms. They also were without Bonzi Wells, who was acquired in a trade from Portland earlier in the day.

    The Nets, who hasn't led since the opening minutes, used a 17-4 run to take the lead. Jason Collins hit four straight free throws to give New Jersey a 90-89 edge, and Kidd made one of two from the foul line to stretch it to 91-89 with 1:56 to play. His miss on the second shot started a run of bad plays down the stretch.

    Posey tied the game with a running 12-footer along the left baseline with 1:39 to go. Kidd turned the ball over on the next possession with a bad pass, and Swift slammed home the rebound of Mike Miller's missed layup attempt with 1:22 to go.

    Kidd tried to force the ball inside again on the next possession and turned it over. The Grizzlies didn't immediately capitalize, but they did after Kerry Kittles committed New Jersey's third straight turnover, with Posey scoring on a slam with 39.4 seconds to go for a 95-91 lead.

    Martin scored inside with 34.1 seconds to go to cut the lead to 95-93, and the Nets got a final chance when the Grizzlies turned the ball over with 6.5 seconds to go.

    Kidd took the inbounds pass on the right wing, swung around to the left and drove. He got the shot up but he didn't get the call, which is the way the season has gone.<

    Game notes

    Miller had six points and seven assists for Memphis, while rookie Dahntay Jones had seven points, five assists and three rebounds in his best game as a pro. ... Earl Watson replaced Williams in the starting lineup and had 12 points and three assists in a team-high 40 minutes. ... The Grizzlies are 6-5 in 11 road games. Their franchise record for road wins in a season is 10.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 96 93
    FGM-FGA 36-79 (.456) 29-68 (.426)
    3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 1-10 (.100)
    FTM-FTA 19-24 (.792) 34-41 (.829)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-33 9-41
    Assists 26 20
    Turnovers 11 18
    Steals 11 3
    Blocks 2 4
    Fast Break Points 6 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (1/0) 23 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Pau Gasol Gasol
    Points: 19
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Richard Jefferson Jefferson
    Points: 24
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1