Grizzlies Frustrate Carter, Nets
Memphis 81, New Jersey 69
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 13 (Ticker) -- Vince Carter found out why the Memphis Grizzlies are the NBA's best defensive team.
Shane Battier and Eddie Jones took turns shutting down Carter as the Grizzlies cruised to an 81-69 victory over the New Jersey Nets.
Carter found little breathing room the entire game against Battier and Jones, managing just 14 points on 5-of-18 shooting in his worst offensive game in a month.
"He's an All-Star, one of the toughest, hottest scorers in the league right now," Battier said. "You just have to work and work against him and hope he misses the shots. When he does, you have to be happy with it because the next time out he can go for 50 very easily."
The rest of Carter's teammates failed to pick up the slack as New Jersey shot just 34 percent (24-of-70) en route to its lowest offensive output of the season. Memphis came into the game allowing a league-low 87.4 points.
"We missed shots, missed layups," said Carter, whose frustration showed in the second quarter when he picked up a technical foul for arguing an offensive foul call. "It was one of those nights. We couldn't put the ball in the basket."
Mike Miller had 18 points and a season-high 16 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who took control with a 15-0 to run end the first half that opened a 47-29 advantage. He was coming off his first career triple-double against Sacramento on Wednesday.
"I'm really just doing whatever it takes to win games," said Miller, who helped the Grizzlies to a 49-36 rebounding advantage. "Something that's hurt us in the past is giving up the offensive rebounds, so we just keep working on it. I'm just going to the ball. I'll go get it anyway I can."
In the second quarter, the Nets managed a season-low 11 points and missed 14-of-18 shots. Memphis made 9-of-15 shots in the period.
"It's the defense," Grizzlies point guard Bobby Jackson said. "Our defense has been extremely good all year. We're working and making it tough for teams out there, making them miss and take tough shots. Defense is what gets it all going for us."
"We had 10 straight empty possessions," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We missed a ton of open shots, and that puts a ton of pressure on the defense. It was a combination of their No. 1 scoring defense and us missing a lot of uncontested shots."
Jackson added 17 points and eight rebounds for Memphis (23-11), which won for the seventh time in eight games and moved a season-best 12 games above .500.
With the Nets trailing, 65-46, after three quarters and with a game at Dallas on Saturday, Frank elected to go with his bench the entire fourth quarter.
Jason Kidd and Marc Jackson contributed 10 points apiece for the Nets, who suffered their second straight loss following their winning streak. They played their third straight game without forward Richard Jefferson (back spasms).
"It's a bad loss, but we're going to bounce back," Carter said. "We're aggressive. We won't let a couple of bad games snowball."