Nets vs. Grizzlies: Solid Team Effort Leads To Nice New Jersey Win

Ryan ComstockCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2010

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

After snapping their eight-game losing streak a week ago, the New Jersey Nets set their sights on ending their 10-game road losing streak Tuesday night.

In beating the Memphis Grizzlies, 101-94, the Nets did just that and have now won consecutive games for the first time since opening week.

Streaks have to start somewhere. Maybe these back-to-back wins can start a winning one.

New Jersey came out on top in Memphis because they played as a team. They used good ball and player movement to create open looks, leading to an even distribution of shot attempts.

Brook Lopez, Devin Harris, Kris Humphries and Travis Outlaw all put up at least 11 shots and four others had at least five attempts.

As a team, the Nets shot 53 percent from the field, so it was not only a matter of creating the shots, they were able to knock them down at a high rate.

Led by Lopez (26 points), five players scored in double-figures as well.

Newcomer Sasha Vujacic was impressive again, scoring 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He also hit 2-of-3 three-pointers and grabbed four rebounds. He's reportedly very excited about the opportunity for minutes he has in New Jersey and is taking advantage of it.

The team's effort extended to the defensive end, where they held the Grizzlies to 40 percent shooting. Memphis was really held in the 30s for much of the night before hitting two threes in the final 10 seconds when the Nets had the game in the bag and backed off defensively.

The Nets also held a rebounding advantage of 49-39, thanks largely to Humphries' 15 boards.

It is the fourth time in the last five games that New Jersey has had at least 46 rebounds while holding their opponent under 40.

For perspective, Minnesota leads the NBA in rebounds per game at 45.8 and Boston is the league leader in opponent rebounds at 38 a game.

After putting up a few bad shots to begin the contest, New Jersey got out to 14-point lead midway through the second quarter. They ended up going into the half with a 45-43 lead, as they allowed the Grizz to bring down nine offensive rebounds and get to the free throw line 13 times.

At that point, it was the only reason Memphis was in the game.

The Nets improved in the second half, giving up just three offensive boards in the final 24 minutes.

The Grizzlies were still able to draw fouls, attempting 16 free throws in the second half, but New Jersey did the same and got to the line just as many times.

Forcing over 17 turnovers a game, Memphis leads the league in that category and the Nets did a good job to limit the damage to 14 turnovers in this one. Turning the ball over has been a problem for the team at times this season, so it was nice to see them take care of the rock against a squad that is skilled at taking it away.

Before getting some time off for the holidays, the Nets will travel to New Orleans Wednesday.

The Hornets started the season strong, but have struggled lately in losing seven of their last 10 games.

Another strong effort like the one the Nets showed Tuesday in Memphis could lead to a third straight victory—a nice Christmas present for their fans.