Nets beat Memphis for third straight home win

  • Associated press
  • Wednesday, January 7, 2009 8:07pm
  • SportsSports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Vince Carter had 25 points and a season-high 12 assists, and the New Jersey Nets beat the Memphis Grizzlies 100-89 on Wednesday night for their third straight home victory.

Despite playing without leading scorer Devin Harris (sore right hamstring), the Nets enjoyed one of the easiest nights a team could have. They raced to an early double-digit lead, kept it most of the way, and never trailed in a game for the first time this season.

Yi Jianlian added 20 points, and rookie Brook Lopez had 17 for the Nets, who are just 8-12 at the Meadowlands even after their longest home winning streak of the season. They are 10-6 on the road and returned to .500 overall at 18-18.

Rookie O.J. Mayo scored 26 points, and Rudy Gay had 23 for the Grizzlies, who lost for the sixth time in seven games and fell to 0-9 this season when playing on the second night of back-to-back games.

The Nets scored the first seven points and hit nine of their first 13 shots, finishing at 69 percent in the first quarter to take a 32-18 lead. The lead grew to 16 on Carter’s dunk with 1:29 remaining in the half, and New Jersey was up 55-42 at the break.

New Jersey had a 69-53 lead after Keyon Dooling’s layup with 6:58 left in the third before Memphis finally got going. Mayo hit a pair of jumpers and Gay a pair of dunks during a 14-4 spurt that trimmed it to 73-67 with 3:08 remaining.

The Nets quickly pushed it back to double figures after Eduardo Najera hit a jumper and 3-pointer on consecutive trips and led 81-71 after three.

Memphis faced a double-digit deficit most of the final period before Hakim Warrick’s three-point play trimmed it to 91-82 with 3:15 to play. Mayo then hit a pair of free throws, but Carter found Yi for an open jumper, then knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 95-84.

Notes: The Nets hope Harris, averaging 23.1 points, can return

Friday at Milwaukee. … The Grizzlies waived F Darius Miles on Wednesday. He appeared in two games for them. … Memphis fell to 0-13 when failing to reach 20 points in the first quarter.

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