After the Brooklyn Nets had gotten just about whatever they wanted on the offensive end and defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 122-109 on Monday night at FedExForum, guard Sean Kilpatrick (23 points) called Memphis a "great defensive team." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
March 7 (UPI) -- MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- After the Brooklyn Nets had gotten just about whatever they wanted on the offensive end and defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 122-109 on Monday night at FedExForum, guard Sean Kilpatrick (23 points) called Memphis a "great defensive team."
He was speaking historically and would have found no one from Memphis coach David Fizdale to center Marc Gasol willing to agree with him after what happened Monday night.
"We're stale," Fizdale said. "This is our lowest point, I think, this year. This is the most adversity we've faced."
The Nets (11-51) won for just the second time in their last 20 games and it was only their third victory in the calendar year.
"We want to develop a nastiness about us," said guard Jeremy Lin, who scored 18 points, 11 of them in the fourth quarter. "We want to develop a toughness about us."
The Nets were tough in the second half as they trailed by many as 12 points in third quarter. They cut the deficit to 91-88 at the start of the fourth. Rookie Isaiah Whitehead (15 points) scored the Nets' first eight points of the fourth quarter, and Lin took over down the stretch.
The Grizzlies last led 104-103 after Gasol (18 points, six rebounds and four assists) made two free throws with 4:35 remaining in the game. From there, the Nets outscored Memphis 19-5. The Grizzlies did not make a field goal after a layup by guard Toney Douglas with 5:33 left to play.
"It was one of those situations where they looked at it like, 'we should have come out ready to play,'" Kilpatrick said of the Grizzlies.
Kilpatrick added five rebounds and three assists and most of his scoring damage came at the foul line, going 16 of 17.
It was a glaring example of where the Grizzlies were disconnected.
"Too many breakdowns, lack of communication, not really commitment all around on what guys wanted to do," Gasol said. "We had too many, 'my bads,' too many, 'we should have done this, we should have done that.'"
Memphis (36-28) gave up 30 points on 16 turnovers. They are now 14-14 since the start of 2017.
"Since Jan. 1 ... we are a mediocre basketball team," Fizdale said.
Point guard Mike Conley scored a game-high 32 points and handed out six assists. It did not help.
"We're frustrated," he said, adding that he wasn't willing to push the panic button. "It's a three-game losing streak, yes, but this team's built for adversity."
The Nets took advantage of the Grizzlies' less-than-sturdy defense and hit 39 of 73 shots from the floor (53.4 percent) and 14 of 30 from 3-point range (46.7 percent).
Memphis made 34 of 77 from the field (44.2 percent) and 10 of 25 from long range (40 percent).
The Nets got 14 points each from guard Randy Foye and forward Caris LeVert. Brooklyn posted a 28-10 edge in fastbreak points.
For the Nets, this was the sixth game of an eight-game road trip. They also picked up a victory at Sacramento. They play at Atlanta Wednesday and Dallas on Friday. The Nets had a team meeting before Monday's game.
"You never know if that's the reason you head energy," Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson said. "I know the players liked it, that's for sure."
Said Kikpatrick: "We've been working so hard just continue to try and rack up wins. I think it was something that was going to break eventually for us."
-- Memphis coach David Fizdale juggled his starting lineup Monday, inserting rookie Andrew Harrison into the backcourt and Brandan Wright at power forward. Wright finished with nine points and four rebounds, and Harrison scored five points.
-- The lineup change meant Tony Allen did not. "I was definitely surprised by it," he said. "I said I'm all in so it didn't even matter."
-- Nets G Joe Harris missed his second consecutive game due to concussion symptoms and a sprained left shoulder.
-- Memphis F Chandler Parsons finished with 12 points, his first double-digit scoring game in more than a month.