Grizzlies, Nets battle for rare consecutive win
NEW YORK -- Taking satisfaction in the results of games has been difficult to accept for the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets in recent weeks.
Especially the Grizzlies.
Only one team will leave Barclays Center Monday night feeling good about getting a win when the Grizzlies visit the Nets.
The Grizzlies (19-50) will be playing their first game since snapping a 19-game losing streak with Saturday's 101-94 home win over the Denver Nuggets. It was their longest streak since moving from Vancouver following the 2000-01 season.
The Grizzlies will attempt to get consecutive wins for the first time since winning three straight home games against the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings from Jan. 15-19. Memphis also won consecutive games by winning the first three of this season and on Oct. 26-28 when it began this season with a 5-1 record.
Besides getting a second straight victory, the Grizzlies will attempt to snap a 14-game road losing streak dating back to a 114-96 win at Sacramento on Dec. 31.
The Grizzlies appeared tantalizingly close to halting their skid Thursday before taking a 111-110 home loss to the Chicago Bulls. They took that loss after JaMychal's Green tip in of a Marc Gasol shot came just after the buzzer sounded.
Meanwhile the Nets (22-48) will attempt to get consecutive wins for the first time since rallying from 16 down to beat Miami on Jan. 19 and getting a game-winner from Spencer Dinwiddie two days later in Detroit. Overall, Brooklyn has won consecutive games four times this season.
Since Dinwiddie's game-winner in Detroit, the Nets are 4-19 in their last 23 games.
The Grizzlies are heading to Brooklyn after getting a big night from rookie Dillon Brooks, who scored 24 points and hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter Saturday.
"It was great," Brooks told reporters. "I was confident in the shot, and they were falling. They were all in the same spot, so I just shot it the same way."
In an otherwise dreary season, Brooks is among the bright spots for Memphis. He is averaging 10.1 points this season and 18 in his last nine games on 45.1 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from 3-point range
Brooks' big performance occurred in a game the Grizzlies never trailed and followed a second double-digit losing streak of the season that saw Memphis lose 10 times by single digits while averaging 96 points. It also occurred on a night when Tyreke Evans scored 20 points in his second game from missing 10 straight contests with a rib injury.
The Nets are coming off a 114-106 home win over the Dallas Mavericks that featured improved defense in the fourth quarter. After allowing 34 points in the final 12 minutes of a 120-116 loss at Philadelphia on Friday, Brooklyn gave up 17 on 7-of-20 shooting Saturday.
"I just told them, 'We're not going to lose this game.' "Brooklyn forward DeMarre Carroll told reporters. "I refused to let us lose this game. I felt like this is a team we're better than. We've been playing close games all throughout the year, and this was a great teaching experience to be able to pull this game out at the end. We've got to keep playing like that and keep playing aggressive on the defensive end."
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 23 points in his second game back in the starting lineup as the power forward while D'Angelo Russell added 22. Carroll slid back to small forward and contributed 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The lineup change was necessitated by Allen Crabbe missing a second straight game with an illness and Dinwiddie's struggles since the All-Star break. Crabbe could return Monday but Dinwiddie will likely come off the bench, though he hit the game-clinching jumper with 37 seconds remaining Monday.
"Just kept playing, kept fighting. Didn't get down on anything, missed shots, turnovers, calls, whatever it may be, we just kept playing," Russell said. "We know we gotta do it. After struggling when it comes down the stretch, just trying to get better at those situations."
Brooklyn claimed the first meeting when Carroll scored 24 points in a 96-86 win at Memphis on Nov. 26.
Updated March 18, 2018