The Brooklyn Nets now have more wins in March than they had in January and February combined. The Nets were able to ride a huge fourth quarter to down the Grizzlies 122-109 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis. Against the no. 2 defense in field goal percentage and no. 5 defense in points-per-game, the Nets were able to turn what was a close game for most of the contest into a blowout in the fourth quarter.
Jeremy Lin was the hero in this one as his 11 fourth quarter points were what ultimately gave the Nets their 11th win of the season. His three-pointer over Memphis with 1:43 left in the game was the icing on the cake of what was perhaps the Nets’ best win of the season. Memphis came into the contest as the 6th seed in the Western Conference with a 36-27 record. The Nets, of course, occupy the league’s basement but have shown signs of life as of late. More importantly, the team is showing promise for the future as Sean Kilpatrick, Caris LeVert, and Isaiah Whitehead are proving to be pieces capable of making winning plays against top level competition.
The Nets still have a long road to climb and although they figure to add two rotational pieces in the first round of the upcoming draft, they are still looking at another few years of rebuilding. Wins like tonight will keep fans satisfied during the long rebuild and will serve as a template for the Nets to build on as they look to keep the momentum rolling to close out the season. Who knows? Maybe a late season-surge can entice free agents to sign on this offseason. Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks have proven so far that they are about changing the culture. The culture certainly looked promising tonight.
The stats: 8 PTS, 3-6 FG, 4 REB, 2 AST,, 1 STL, 1 BLK
Brook Lopez had an uncharacteristically quiet night, which is especially surprising considering the Nets were able to pull of the victory. Marc Gasol proved to be a challenge for the 9-year veteran as Lopez was suckered into a couple of frustration fouls in the fourth quarter. That he was able to hold Gasol below his season percentages makes this a solid, if unspectacular night for Lopez.
The stats: 14 PTS, 5-6 FG, 3 REB, 1 AST, 2 TOV
The rookie out of Michigan had a great night as he continues to get acquainted in the starting line-up. LeVert couldn’t miss and although he had a few turnovers, he was effective and efficient. Watching LeVert continue to progress will be one of the few bright spots to watch out for as the season approaches its conclusion.