Pivotal 4th quarter carries Carter, Nets past unsettled Grizz

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- New Jersey refused to let its skid continue for one more day.

One night after falling 94-91 at San Antonio, Vince Carter scored 23 points and Devin Harris added 17 points and eight assists as the Nets snapped a five-game skid with a 99-88 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

"We wanted to break the losing streak," Carter said. "We felt like we let one slip away [against San Antonio]. We played well enough to beat a very good team, but we didn't get the job done.

"We wanted to bounce back and, hopefully, get the job done."

For Memphis, their woes continued. O.J. Mayo scored 23 points to lead the Grizzlies, playing their second game under interim coach Johnny Davis, who took over when Marc Iavaroni was fired Thursday.

Memphis is scheduled to introduce new coach Lionel Hollins at a press conference Sunday.

And with the Grizzlies in the midst of a nine-game losing streak and questions about effort, Memphis players seemed eager to look to the future.

"I think it's a fresh start for a lot of guys," said point guard Mike Conley, who has been the subject of trade rumors. "It's a chance for some people to get to redeem themselves. Everybody wants to play well for the new coach. You know, show him what you can do."

Memphis was within 74-73 in the early minutes of the fourth, but New Jersey would not trail the rest of the way, outscoring the Grizzlies 27-18 in the period. Carter's 3-pointer with 1:31 left built the lead to 97-84, and the Nets eventually would lead by 15 down the stretch.

"We just never really got over the hump," Davis said after finishing 0-2 in his interim status. "We fought hard. We gave it what we had, but when we had to have key plays, it seemed like we would have a turnover, or we would miss a shot, and they would come back on their end and they would hit one."

Still, the Nets were a little disappointed that they were unable to put Memphis away until the fourth quarter.

"When we had a big lead, we could have pushed a little bit further, but we let them get back in the game," Harris said. "We took care of business in the fourth like we needed to."

Memphis' first-quarter miseries continued as the Grizzlies opened shooting only 35 percent from the field. That allowed the Nets to hold an early 10-point advantage. Initially, Memphis seemed to run few plays, relying on a one-on-one offensive plan.

Meanwhile, Carter missed only one of his six shots in the period for 10 early points before ending up with 13 points at halftime.

Memphis was able to cut into the Nets' lead, pulling within 36-35, but Harris' jumper in the final seconds of the half gave New Jersey a 47-40 lead at the break.

Both teams shot 42 percent in the half, but were ineffective outside the arc with the Nets connecting on only three of their 13 shots in the half, while Memphis missed four of its five shots from long range.

Memphis didn't get a player in double figures until Mayo's 3-pointer with 7:21 to go in the third period. A short time later, Brook Lopez scored on a dunk, extending the Nets' lead to double-digits again.

The Grizzlies would stay close, eventually overtaking the Nets 70-69 on a 3-pointer by Mayo, who scored 12 points in the third period. But Simmons answered with his own 3-pointer to help New Jersey carry a 72-70 lead into the fourth.

Memphis now looks to the next coach, in hopes of ending the season with some success.

"I think everybody in the locker room is just looking forward to getting through this transitional phase as soon as possible," guard Kyle Lowry said.

Game notes
The Nets earned their second victory in seven games in Memphis. ... The game was the third of New Jersey's four-game road streak. The last stop is Oklahoma City on Monday. ... New Jersey F Yi Jianlian missed his seventh game after breaking the fifth finger on his right hand against Milwaukee on Jan. 9. ... Nets G Chris Douglas-Roberts, who played at the University of Memphis, received a warm reception from the crowd when he entered early in the second quarter. ... The five-game skid was New Jersey's worst of the season. ... Memphis is 0-17 when the Grizzlies score under 20 points in the first quarter. Memphis scored only 17 in the opening period against the Nets.