Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/13

Game 1: Friday, January 13th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 29th

Grizzlies 74

(41-31, 16-20 away)

Nets 86

(42-28, 25-9 home)

Coverage: FSS

7:30 PM ET, March 29, 2006

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

1 2 3 4 T
MEM 18 13 21 2274
NJ 27 23 17 1986

Top Performers

Mem: P. Gasol 21 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

NJ: R. Jefferson 27 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast

Nets beat Grizzlies, run win streak to 10 games

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Richard Jefferson had a message that should provide some comfort for the New Jersey Nets' remaining opponents this season.

"We will lose a game," the Nets forward conceded Wednesday night. "Things can change in one quarter, or in five minutes."

Jefferson scored 27 points to help the Nets beat the weary Memphis Grizzlies 86-74 and tie a season high with their 10th straight win.

Vince Carter added 23 points for New Jersey (42-28), which also won 10 games in a row from Dec. 16-Jan. 8. The last NBA team to have two 10-game winning streaks in the same season was Miami last season.

Since losing at Chicago on March 7, the Nets have won seven of the 10 games by double digits, and their victims have included Detroit, Phoenix and Dallas -- teams with three of the NBA's five best records.

The earlier streak began with the Nets struggling at 9-12 and was followed by three straight losses. This one is different, according to Jefferson.

"We were really terrible before that," he said, "and it showed us that, 'Hey, we are capable of playing after all.' This one has showed us that we've got everything going again and we're back in the groove."

Much like in their 110-72 rout of Phoenix on Monday, the Nets jumped on the Grizzlies early, racing to a 20-point second-quarter lead and leading by as many as 23 in the third quarter.

Despite playing a game the night before in Memphis, the Grizzlies managed to muster enough energy for a fourth-quarter rally, but they could not get closer than 10 points.

Pau Gasol led Memphis (41-31) with 21 points but was the only starter in double figures. The Grizzlies, who were held to their third-lowest point total of the season, had won six of their last seven games.

Gasol, who scored a franchise-record 44 points the night before in a last-second loss to Seattle, scored 10 first-quarter points. But by the time he made his first field goal of the second quarter, with 1:09 left, the Nets led by 18.

"We weren't ready," Gasol said. "We didn't come out ready to compete at their level. It was frustrating because we weren't clicking from the start. I don't know if it was so much what they were doing, it was more about us. We had a lot of open looks. We couldn't knock down the shots we normally do."

While the Nets have little chance of catching Miami (48-23) for the second spot in the Eastern Conference behind Detroit, they are peaking at the time of the season when momentum is a precious commodity.

"It's at the right time of the year," guard Jason Kidd said. "The big thing is the quality of the teams. Everybody's playing for something, jockeying for position, and we've made a stand. Hopefully we can keep getting better and not get satisfied."

Game notes

New Jersey has won 20 of its last 23 home games ... After allowing more than 100 points in four consecutive games from Feb. 27-March 4, the Nets have given up fewer than 90 points in nine of their last 11 games. Through the first half Wednesday, they had held opponents under 20 points in nine of their last 14 quarters ... The game matched Nets coach Lawrence Frank and Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello, who grew up in adjacent towns about 10 miles from Continental Airlines Arena in northern New Jersey, Frank in Teaneck and Fratello in Hackensack ... Memphis C Jake Tsakalidis missed his fifth straight game with a sprained left thumb ... Former O.J. Simpson defense lawyer Barry Scheck took in the game from courtside.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 74 86
FGM-FGA 31-74 (.419) 32-72 (.444)
3PM-3PA 4-18 (.222) 6-20 (.300)
FTM-FTA 8-12 (.667) 16-21 (.762)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-37 10-40
Assists 21 23
Turnovers 11 12
Steals 5 5
Blocks 2 6
Fast Break Points 2 8
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 16 (1/0)
Largest Lead 2 23

Top Performers

New Jersey
Pau Gasol Gasol
Points: 21
Reb: 8
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Richard Jefferson Jefferson
Points: 27
Reb: 9
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 0