Deron Williams played really well tonight, but had a brutal turnover late in the fourth quarter that led to the Grizzlies prevailing
No Joe Johnson at all. No Brook Lopez or Gerald Wallace in the fourth quarter. No foul call late in the game when D-Will drove to the hoop for a lay-up with the game tied. Tonight's Nets-Grizzlies game was a bunch of no's and absences for Brooklyn who literally just needed one break to go their way in the fourth quarter to win this game over one of the better Western Conference teams. Obviously, they would never get this break, leading to a tough loss, constituting their second-straight loss overall and sixth-straight to Southwest Division teams (0-6 on the year).
I'll keep it short because it's late but the game was a long, hard-fought, physical battle without much scoring, but with a lot of passion and fight. Reggie Evans matched up with Zach Randolph for much of the way, containing Z-Bo to 16 points and 14 rebounds, while grabbing 14 himself. The rebounding advantage the Nets gained--mostly in part to Reggie's effort--kept them close throughout the game, even as they struggled from both the free-throw line (5-13) and from the field (29-77).
The Nets gained the lead for the first time in much of the game at the 7:56 mark of the fourth quarter on a Deron Williams three that put Brooklyn up 62-61. Later on, a clutch Mirza trey-ball would extend this lead to five (70-65) with under four minutes left but a pair of Tayshaun Prince jumpers, and one from Mike Conley Jr. as well, tied up the game at 72 all. That was when D-Will made the drive to the hoop on Tony Allen, where he was overtly body-checked by Tony Allen, an action stunningly missed by the refs, called a block for Allen, and resulted in a leg contusion for D-Will.
At the other end of the floor, Allen made his own drive and was questionably fouled by the Nets, a play that had to be reviewed after the officials--incorrectly--originally ruled the play as a goaltend. The veteran would hit both of his free throws and watch how, on the next possession, D-Will would seal the game for Memphis by incomprehensibly passing the ball right to Prince as the Nets attempted to tie the game or take the lead. Icing the lead on free throws, the Grizzlies took the win handed to them by the shorthanded Nets and ran with it.
Some other observations I had from the game: D-Will, Blatche and C.J. were the only Nets who could really score consistently tonight (other than Mirza, who hit a few big shots late in the game) as everyone else had no rhythm or shooting accuracy to speak of......A game that the Nets could have REALLY used Joe in.....Once again, no Brook in the fourth quarter and also, no Gerald either.
The Nets head down south to take on another Southwest Division team in the New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday night. MUST-WIN.