Nets Go Cold Late as Rally Against Grizzlies Falls Short


Final: 01/08/2021

L 110 115

The Nets and Grizzlies have liked to play it close this season, and Brooklyn continues to show that closing out games is not a strong suit.

A two-point lead with under five minutes remaining turned into a 115-110 loss for the Nets in Memphis. Caris LeVert scored 43 points in the losing effort while Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were out for a second straight game.

On a night the Nets trailed by as many as 22, it was somewhat unexpected to see Brooklyn in the mix down the stretch. Brooklyn has LeVert to thank for that, who dropped 19 points in the third quarter alone to quickly bring the Nets from a 17-point halftime deficit to a lead in about 10 game minutes.

After a first half filled with missed shots and poor defense, Brooklyn came out of halftime with energy but ultimately let the game go with careless late mistakes. The turning point of the game came after the Nets took a 104-102 lead — they went on to go 0-of-3 from the field and were out-scored 9-0 as they turned the ball over twice during a three-minute stretch and allowed Memphis to capitalize on their mistakes.

Jarrett Allen was not able to check back into the game before Memphis drained what felt like a three-point dagger to take a seven-point lead with one minute remaining. After the game, Steve Nash said he wanted to get Allen back in the game but did not want to burn a timeout because DeAndre Jordan was doing “fine.” 

Memphis was able to capitalize off its 13 three-pointers and the opportunities created off 12 offensive rebounds, a plus-eight differential that helped lead to 22 second-chance points. Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke were clutch for the Grizzlies all night and combined for 45 points. 

After a poor free-throw shooting game on Thursday, the Nets cashed in on 20-of-21 attempts at the charity stripe against the Grizzlies. A 7-0 run from the free-throw line to close the second quarter played a part in gaining Brooklyn some second-half momentum and making the lead in reach, but the team’s 20 turnovers were quick to hurt them.

The Grizzlies were able to get their first win at home and have recorded two of their three wins of the season against the Nets — both without Durant or Irving. Brooklyn went 2-1 this week so far without Durant and will likely welcome him back on Sunday, while Irving’s status remains unknown.

The Nets largely took care of business without their top stars, but a fresh Durant should make a big difference as Brooklyn falls to 5-5 on the year. 

Caris LeVert


The stats: 43 PTS, 15-23 FG, 7-9 3PT, 6-6 FT, 5 REB, 6 AST, 5 TO, 36 MIN

The first 40-point game for the Nets this season? That belongs to Caris LeVert.

LeVert was Brooklyn’s lone reliable weapon on offense throughout the night, dropping 18 first-half points and finishing with 43. He followed an 0-of-5 night from three on Thursday with a career-high seven three-pointers on Friday.

At one point LeVert made five straight three-pointers without a miss in the second half, and it was fun to watch. He needed more teammates to step up offensively and was a bit sloppy with the ball, but LeVert has continued to look like an All-Star when he is called on to start.

Taurean Prince


The stats: 16 PTS, 4-13 FG, 1-4 3PT, 7-7 FT, 4 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 24 MIN

Taurean Prince was a big part of Brooklyn’s momentum swing to start the second half.

Prince provided a boost when the Nets were in need of one, and his offense alongside LeVert helped Brooklyn turn the game around so quickly. He was also clutch at the free-throw line and made up a third of Brooklyn’s attempts at the charity stripe.

Prince has had a good run on offense over the past three games, but being able to produce more consistently throughout games would be a game-changer for Brooklyn — especially without Durant and Irving. 

Joe Harris


The stats: 13 PTS, 6-9 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2 REB, 2 AST, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 28 MIN

The streak lives!

After cutting it very close, Joe buried a deep shot with under a minute to go to extend his streak with a three-pointer to 70. That was some of the good news that came out of the loss. 

Still, Joe did not see as many attempts on Friday after his 28-point game on Thursday, and that made sense with LeVert taking over. Joe was the only reliable part of a Nets bench that was out-scored 44-28, but it would always be great to see him get more shots.

Jarrett Allen


The stats: 12 PTS, 3-7 FG, 6-7 FT, 6 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 30 MIN

Jarrett Allen could have had a triple-double on his hands if he got a better hand at rebounding against the Grizzlies. 

The Nets struggled on the boards and were out-rebounded 53-46 on the night. Jarrett was able to grab three of the Nets’ four offensive rebounds but was largely quiet after two straight dominant games

Jarrett did not get to play in Brooklyn’s key run down the stretch, and that is not his fault, but it was not his best performance of recent games — and that is OK.


Jeff Green


The stats: 9 PTS, 3-5 FG, 3-5 3PT, 9 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 3 TO, 34 MIN

Jeff Green is a quiet and consistent difference-maker, and he got some three-pointers to fall!

It is fun to watch Green work, and he ended up with a team-high nine rebounds. He did take part in Brooklyn’s 20 team turnovers, but it is hard to ask more from Green over his last few games.