The Grizzlies lost 19 games in a row. Then they won a game on Sunday. Then they lost to the Nets on Monday for a season sweep.
Now that you’re caught up on Memphis Grizzlies affairs, let’s get to how the Nets were able to form a win streak for the first time since late January.
Brooklyn did its best to lose the game when it came to turnovers. The Nets had seven turnovers in the first eight minutes alone and finished with 22 on the game. Memphis scored 29 points off them, which hurt the Nets’ momentum throughout.
This game never got out of hand in favor of either team, though each had its own runs. With neither team holding a lead larger than single digits, the game included 17 lead changes and 14 ties.
The Grizzlies made their big run in the third quarter, outscoring Brooklyn 31-22 and going on an extended 23-8 run. It looked the Grizzlies would take the win at that point.
But in this game of runs, the Nets were not done yet. A 12-1 run sparked by three-pointers and powerful drives gave Brooklyn an eight-point lead with four minutes to go. The Grizzlies could not find their shot.
The three ball gave the Nets an edge in this one. While Memphis won the battle inside, 54-38, Brooklyn had 16 three-pointers, tying last year’s single-season franchise record for most threes with 877.
Once the Nets stopped Memphis from driving to the rim, they were more successful and built a lead. Briante Weber, who was a nuisance all night to the Nets with trash talk and drawing fouls, was basically the only player making moves down the stretch for Memphis.
Even though the team went cold from the field, Brooklyn sealed the victory in the bonus, making 30-of-40 free throws on the night. The Nets did their best to lose the lead with a bad inbound pass with 23 seconds to go, but Brooklyn held just enough distance with DeMarre Carroll not fouling on the three-point shot to close it out.
The Nets locked down on defense in the fourth quarter, allowing just 21 points from Memphis after allowing over 30 in the first three quarters. Allen Crabbe and Caris LeVert were the MVPs tonight for Brooklyn, putting up 22 each and both making four threes.
How did the Nets win even though they gave up 29 points off 22 turnovers? The free throw line and three-pointers helped, but the Nets were lucky to pull this one off.
D’Angelo Russell Point Guard
14 PTS, 5-17 FG, 1-10 3FG, 3-3 FT, 5 REB, 7 AST, 3 TOV, 2 STL, 2 BLK, 29 MIN
D’Angelo’s 1-of-10 performance from three was ‘oof’ worthy, but he impacted other parts of the game despite his missed shot. Russell used the first half to get his shot going, then in the second half facilitated and was active on defense with two steals and two blocks.
It was a step in the right direction for D’Angelo in terms of an all-around contribution, and outside the missed shots, it looked good on him.
Allen Crabbe Shooting Guard
22 PTS, 7-10 FG, 4-7 3FG, 4-4 FT, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 BLK, 27 MIN
Crabbe had the hot hand from the start, and the Nets needed it. He made his first three three-pointers and looked aggressive while doing it, breaking out of his flu-like symptom slump. A healthy Allen Crabbe is an effective Allen Crabbe.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Power Forward
16 PTS, 4-9 FG, 8-13 FT, 12 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 37 MIN
Rondae = beast.
He gives so much to his team — second chances, a finishing touch, energy and someone who can go to the line with consistency. Add another double-double to his season and he’s playing nearly mistake-free basketball.
6 PTS, 2-7 FG, 2-6 3FG, 5 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK, 23 MIN
This was one of Quincy Acy’s best games in a while. His three-point shot looked confident and he was impacting all angles — rebounding, dishing and stepping up on defense. The Nets need more of this from Acy while Dante Cunningham sits out with a concussion.