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J-Will torches New Jersey for 27 points

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The New Jersey Nets could have used an
extra player or two, even if it wasn't Vince Carter.

The All-Star's acquisition in a trade with the Toronto Raptors
was announced before the game, but the Nets were left short-handed
Friday night in an 89-94 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Jason
Williams had a season-high 27 points and six assists to lead
Memphis.

"We had some stale periods when we had different combinations
in the game, and Jason (Kidd) would come back in and change the
momentum at the time," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "But we
win together and lose together as a team."

Richard Jefferson, who had 18 of his 26 points in the fourth
period, got the Nets within 85-84 with 16 seconds left when he
followed Kidd's missed layup. But four free throws by James Posey
in the final 12 seconds sealed Memphis' victory.

The Nets hope to get a burst of offense soon from Carter, a
five-time All-Star acquired from Toronto earlier Friday for Alonzo
Mourning, Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first-round draft
picks.

The trade and a groin injury to reserve guard Travis Best left
the Nets with only eight available players. New Jersey's roster was
stretched even further because Kidd's playing time is limited as he
continues to recover from knee surgery.

"We competed with eight guys," said Kidd, who scored 17 points
in 32 minutes, season-highs in both categories. "We were out there
fighting and the Nets are trying to win every time we take the
court. No matter what the names on the back of the jerseys say, you
still have to go out there and play Nets basketball."

Williams made nine of his 14 shots as Memphis snapped a two-game
home losing streak. Williams and Mike Miller began connecting from
long range in the fourth period to hold off the Nets.

"Down the stretch they made big shots," said Brian Scalabrine,
who had a career-high 21 points for the Nets. "When you're down
two and able to make a run then, boom, Jason Williams makes a shot,
then Mike Miller makes a shot. It's tough to battle back. Suddenly,
you're down five and then down eight."

Jefferson added 11 rebounds and a pair of steals.

Pau Gasol scored 16 points for Memphis and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Posey finished with 13 points, and Miller scored 12.

Memphis made only four of 18 3-point shots in the first three
quarters. But with Williams and Miller firing away in the fourth,
Memphis connected on four of seven from beyond the arc. That was a
change from recent games, when the Grizzlies struggled in the final
period.

"We have been making turnovers a lot and also we don't make
open shots," Williams said of Memphis' recent fourth-quarter play.
"A lot of the time we have open shots but just don't make them.
Tonight, I hit shots at the end of the clock, and we executed
better."

The Nets jumped out early thanks to a 28-percent shooting
performance by the Grizzlies in the first quarter. Scalabrine had
eight of his 12 first-half points in the period.

Williams had 10 in the half, but also committed three of the
Grizzlies' 11 turnovers.

Memphis got five points from Williams during an 8-0 run, and
built its lead to 62-55 entering the fourth quarter.

Jefferson scored New Jersey's first 11 points of the final
quarter, including a dunk that tied the game at 66-66. But Memphis
went on a 9-0 run to grab a 75-66 lead.

Game notes
Grizzlies F Shane Battier didn't suit up for the second
straight game due to a sprained right ankle. ... Best was injured
Tuesday against New York. ... Scalabrine's previous high was 16
against Golden State in March 2003. ...Posey had season highs in
rebounds (9) and assists (4). ...Jefferson recorded his seventh
double-double of the season.

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