The Memphis Grizzlies are usually known for their defense and rebounding. They sometimes struggle to score. That hasn’t been the case in the last 2 games. Wednesday night they beat the Los Angeles Lakers 106-93. Friday night that hot shooting continued especially in the first half as the Grizzlies demolished the visiting Brooklyn Nets 101-77.The Grizzlies improved to 28-14 and Brooklyn dropped to 26-17.Mmephis has won 4 of their last 5 games, and the Nets are 10-2 in January.
The Nets actually took an early 2-0 lead. That would be significant as they would never lead again. Memphis took a 6-5 lead, and Brooklyn would never get closer than that for the rest of the game. Memphis would slowly build up the lead. They led by as many as 13 at 27-14 with 1:47 left. The would end up with a 32-22 lead at the end of the first.
The Nets would pull to within six points a couple of times early in the second but would never get closer. The Nets pulled to within 36-29 with 10 minutes to go in the period. A Joe Johnson jumper for the Nets made it 42-33. The Grizzlies would go on a 9-0 run to make it 53-33. Memphis would go up by as much as 65-40, but were up 67-44 at halftime. It was the most points scored by the Grizzlies in half this season. The Grizzlies shot a blistering 60% from the field in the half. The previous record was 62 in the second half of a 113-81 rout over the Sacramento Kings earlier this month.
In the third quarter, Memphis expanded the lead to 76-46 with just over 8 minutes to go. The Nets went on a 13-3 run to cut it to 79-59 with 3:35 left. The Grizzlies would maintain a lead of between 18 and 22 points for the rest of the quarter. Memphis would end the third up 85-67.
Neither team would score for almost the first 3 minutes of the fourth when Tony Wroten made a free throw for the Grizzlies. Brooklyn never got closer than 19 points. Wroten made a lay-up with 2:34 left in the game to make it 101-77. Neither team would score again in an ugly garbage time fourth quarter in which the Grizzlies outscored the Nets 16-10.The Grizzlies improved to 13-0 when scoring over 100 points, 5-1 when shooting over 50%, and 20-2 when outshooting their opponents.
Brooklyn shot 40.8% from the field, including 3 for 17 from 3 point range. The Nets made 16 of 25 free throws. Brooklyn had 37 rebounds, 16 assists, 6 steals, 8 blocks, and 14 turnovers. Brooklyn had 6 fast break points and 40 points in the paint.
Center Brook Lopez had 18 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks. He scored 15 points in the first half. Deron Williams had 12 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Reggie Evans had 11 points, 10 rebounds, and a steal. Joe Johnson had 11 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds. C.J. Watson had 9 points, 3 rebounds and an assist. Andray Blatche had 8 points. no other Net scored more than 5 points.
Despite scoring only 34 points in the second half, Memphis still shot 52.2% for the game and made 4 of 9 three pointers. The Grizzlies were 3 of 8 from the free throw line. Memphis had 45 rebounds, 25 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks, and 12 turnovers. The Grizzlies had 12 fast break and 62 points in the paint.
Memphis had 7 players in double digit scoring. Center Marc Gasol scored all 20 of his points in the first half, and added 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block. Point guard Mike Conley added 14 points, 4 assists, a rebound and a steal. He made 2 of 3 three point shots. Newly minted All-Star forward Zach Randolph had 12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block. Forward Rudy Gay had 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal. Guard Jarryd Bayless had 11 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and a steal. Wroten had 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Rookie Chris Johnson is on a 10 day contract. He had 10 points and 4 rebounds, including 2 three pointers.
The Grizzlies arguably played an almost flawless first half on both ends of the court. When they play like that, they can beat any team in the league. The problem is they are too inconsistent on offense for that to be a regular occurrence. Still, this was a nice when against one of the top teams in the East. Next up for Memphis is a home game Sunday evening against the New Orleans Hornets.