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Nets top Grizzlies to snap five-game skid

Mar 13, 2007 - 5:38 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Vince Carter provided a spark to enable the New Jersey Nets to stop the bleeding.

Carter scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Mikki Moore added a career-high 24 points as the Nets snapped a five-game losing streak with a 113-102 triumph over the Memphis Grizzlies.

After averaging 86.2 points during the slide, the Nets (29-35) hit the century mark for the first time since February 27 and moved one-half game within the New York Knicks (29-34) for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

"You always want to win and hopefully, we can save the (road) trip by getting a win (Tuesday) in Oklahoma (against the Hornets)," Nets guard Jason Kidd said. "We only have 17 or 18 games left, so they all count."

"It's good to get back (in the win column)," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Defensively, in that first half, we did some really good things. Offensively, in that third quarter, we were very, very efficient. But right around midway through the third quarter, we had a hard time playing defense without fouling."

Pau Gasol hit a jumper to bring the Grizzlies within 51-47 early in the third quarter before the Nets went on an 18-9 run. Kidd scored six points, Richard Jefferson added five and Carter and Moore dunked in the burst.

"We were hitting shots early in the third quarter just being patient and moving the ball and finding the open man," Carter said. "Mikki was always in the right place at the right time, and I think he (has) learned us and understands how unselfish (Kidd, Jefferson and I) are."

"The guys got me the ball in the perfect situation," Moore said. "I really didn't have to do too much in terms of movement, just jump straight up and put it in there."

Bostjan Nachbar nailed a pair of 3-pointers later in the period to finish the quarter with 10 points and help give New Jersey an 87-75 lead.

Gasol dunked to cap an 11-2 spurt and cut the deficit to 101-92 with 4:13 to play. However, New Jersey held off any comeback hopes as Jefferson dunked and Eddie House scored five points, including a 3-pointer with 2:15 left.

Carter and Moore each hit 10-of-19 shots from the floor, Jefferson scored 18 points and Kidd had 10 assists for New Jersey.

"We wanted to come out and be aggressive, and we were just hitting shots," Jefferson said. "I know that this is a team that (has) been struggling, but we've been preaching defense the last few weeks and over the last couple of months, (Memphis) has been putting up 100, 110 points."

"The last few games we've been starting off the second half kind of sluggish, digging a hole and trying to fight our way out of it," Moore said. "Tonight, we set the tone in the second half and rode with it."

Gasol scored 19 points and Chucky Atkins and rookie Rudy Gay had 17 each for Memphis, which tied a season high with six straight losses.

"We've got to be ready to play, and it starts with me and some of the other guys on this team because we're leaders," said Grizzlies forward Mike Miller, who scored just seven points on 3-of-11 shooting. "Tonight, I got in foul trouble early and you can't do that. You've got to be ready to play from the get-go."

Memphis (16-49) slipped to 10-25 since coach Tony Barone replaced Mike Fratello and is the league's only team without back-to-back wins this season.

"I don't have an explanation for us not playing with a sense of urgency," Barone said. "We didn't play with urgency all night or from the beginning of the game."

"It seems like after we win a game, the next night we don't show up," Atkins said. "It's disappointing. In order to be at top team in the league, you have to run off some winning streaks. That's what all the good teams do."

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