Memphis converts 70 percent FGs in first half

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Lorenzen Wright and Jason Williams
each scored 20 points and the Memphis Grizzlies shot 70 percent in
the first half to end the New Jersey Nets' five-game winning streak
with a 105-96 victory Thursday night.

James Posey added 12, Bonzi Wells had 11 and Earl Watson and Pau
Gasol each had 10 as Memphis won for the ninth time in 12 games.

Vince Carter led the Nets with 22, Nenad Krstic had 21 and
Rodney Buford 15. Jason Kidd had 12 points and 12 assists.

Watson hit a 3-pointer with 6:04 remaining to make it 88-84,
Cliff Robinson missed a 3-point heave on New Jersey's next
possession and the Nets sagged. Gasol hit consecutive baskets on a
layup and a hook shot as the Grizzlies ran off 10 straight points
for a 95-84 lead.

Memphis, ahead by one entering the fourth, threatened to break
the game open with 9-2 run to start the period for an 83-75 lead.
Wells led the way with four points in the run. New Jersey battled
back on consecutive 3-pointers by Kidd and Carter to trim the
Memphis lead to two.

The Grizzlies shot exceptionally well in the first period
(10-of-14 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range) but
held only a 26-24 lead. The Nets rallied late, scoring the final
seven points of the period as Robinson and Buford hit 3-pointers.

The Nets eventually opened a 36-28 lead, but Memphis stayed
close behind 10 second-quarter points from Williams.

The Nets' bench kept them in the game as Buford matched Williams
with 10 points in the period, including an 18-foot jumper with 0.6
seconds remaining that gave the Nets a 55-53 lead at the half.

The game remained close throughout the third quarter with three
lead changes and three ties. Miller hit a 3-pointer to give Memphis
a 74-73 lead at the end of the period.

Game notes
Williams made his first eight shots from the field,
including a trio of 3-pointers. His first miss came with 6:41 left
in the third. ... Nets coach Lawrence Frank has no timetable for
the return of forward Richard Jefferson (ruptured left wrist
ligament) and guard Ron Mercer (lower back strain). "He continues
to rehab but it's going to a lengthy process," Frank said of
Jefferson. Mercer receives treatment from a chiropractor and a
physical therapist. ... Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello will
gradually work center Pau Gasol back into the rotation. Gasol
played in his second straight game after missing 23 with plantar
fascitis. "He's going through a different kind of pain," Fratello
said of the transition back to the daily grind of playing and
practicing. Gasol wound up playing 24 minutes.