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Carter, Nets snap skid against miserable Grizzlies

Jan 25, 2009 - 5:07 AM By Jason Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Vince Carter's 23 points led five players in double figures Saturday as the New Jersey Nets snapped a five-game losing streak with a 99-88 victory over the reeling Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum.

Point guard Devin Harris had 17 points and eight assists and rookie Ryan Anderson added 12 and nine rebounds for a Nets club that had lost six straight road games prior to Saturday's victory, including a tough 94-91 loss at San Antonio on Friday.

"We wanted to break the losing streak," said Carter, who added seven rebounds and five assists. "We felt like we let one slip away last night. We played well enough to beat a very good team, but we didn't get the job done.

"We wanted to bounce back and hopefully get the job done tonight."

Memphis, meanwhile, dropped its ninth straight game - the longest active losing streak in the NBA - and the 17th in its last 19. It has lost both games under interim coach Johnny Davis.

The Grizzlies, who fired second-year head coach Marc Iavaroni on Thursday, will introduce Lionel Hollins as the team's new head coach Sunday afternoon.

"We never really got over the hump," Davis said of Saturday's loss. "We fought hard the whole night. We gave it what we had, but when we had to have plays, it seemed like we had a turnover or we would miss a shot and then come back on their end and they hit one."

Rookie guard O.J. Mayo's 23 points led the Grizzlies, who trailed 72-70 through three quarters before Carter and company finally closed the door in the fourth.

Brook Lopez's one-handed jam on a feed from Harris with 6:36 left in the third quarter gave New Jersey its biggest lead through the game's first three quarters at 64-53.

But Memphis responded with a 14-3 scoring run over the next four minutes of the third quarter to tie it at 67-67. Mayo scored nine points during the spurt, and his 3-pointer from the top of the key with 45 seconds left in the period gave the Grizzlies their first lead of the game at 70-69.

New Jersey forward Bobby Simmons, however, quickly put his team ahead to stay, nailing a 3-pointer from the right corner with 33 seconds left in the third.

Nets reserve point guard Keyon Dooling then knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter, including one as the shot clock expired, to help New Jersey take an 82-73 lead.

"Obviously, there were a few points where we had a big lead and we could've pushed it a little bit further, but we allowed them to get back in the game," Harris said. "But we took care of business in the fourth (quarter) like we needed to."

Memphis never got closer than six points the rest of the way, as the Grizzlies finished 43 percent (30-of-70) from the field.

"They stayed with it and showed a lot of fight and determination. We gutted it out," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said. "Devin had a great game in terms of moving the ball ... and Ryan was really active on the glass and he got rewarded with some points in the third quarter."

Carter scored 10 first-quarter points on 5-of-6 shooting, helping New Jersey take a 25-17 lead after one. Memphis shot just 35 percent (7-of-20) in the quarter, with Rudy Gay (12 points) and Mayo combining to go just 2-of-9.

Reserve point guard Kyle Lowry then sparked Memphis off the bench, scoring seven straight points over the final 3.5 seconds of the first quarter and first 1:22 of the second to tighten things at 25-22.

Forward Hakim Warrick's two free throws with 4:29 left in the second period tied the game at 33-33, but New Jersey outscored the Grizzlies, 14-7, over the final 4:14 of the quarter to lead 47-40 at the half.

"We are just not playing the full 48 minutes," Warrick said. "Teams are too good to have any lapses for five- and six-minute stretches. I think when we struggle offensively, it hurts us defensively. When you struggle on offense, you have to buckle down more on defense."

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