The New Jersey Nets came out aggressive early last night against the Memphis Grizzlies and it paid off. The Nets grabbed an early 26-18 lead to end the first quarter, and would lead by as many as 14, 34-20, on a Sasha Vujacic jump shot, and would eventually defeat the Grizzlies, 101-94, for their first road victory since November 15, 2010, against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Nets head coach Avery Johnson was pleased with his team’s effort. “I’m proud of our guys. We’ve got positive energy.” When questioned about swirling trade rumors involving Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, Johnson replied “Nothing’s swirling in our locker room.” When asked about Brook Lopez’s performance, who led the Nets with 26 points and pulled down 6 rebounds, Coach Johnson replied “Brook was dominant offensively inside.” Lopez was pleased with the team’s effort, stating “We put great effort in for four quarters and it showed.”
Recent Nets acquisition Sasha Vujacic, who played his third game with the Nets last night, has brought a lot of focus to the team. Coach Johnson stated “He’s brought a new energy.” Vujacic scored a season high 16 points on only 8 field goal attempts and pulled down 4 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. Nets forward Kris Humphries had another double-double, his ninth of the year, with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Nets guard Devin Harris scored 12 points while dishing out 5 assists, and Travis Outlaw scored 11 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Grizzlies center Marc Gasol scored 19 points and blocked 2 shots, while OJ Mayo added 17 points with 2 steals off the bench. Mike Conley had 13 points and 8 assists, while Rude Gay scored 11 points, pulled down 9 rebounds, blocked 4 shots and added 4 steals. Forward Zach Randolph notched a double-double with 11 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 assists. Xavier Henry also scored 11 points.
The Nets next play tonight in New Orleans against the Hornets at 8pm.