Zach Randolph sat with flu-like symptoms. James Johnson (ankle) returned after a one-game absence. Dave Joerger (wait for it) coached through a bout of poison ivy... poisoning? Sheesh.
Brooklyn built a 21-2 lead against abhorrent shooting by Memphis to start the game, but the Grizzlies (briefly) saved themselves some box score embarrassment by making it 30-19 by quarter's end. Ed Davis guarding Paul Pierce was a disaster, as PP racked up 10 early points and a couple of triples (but let's not pretend Z-Bo's perimeter D would have been any better). Joerger responded by sending Koufos in to play alongside Gasol into the second quarter, an effective scoring and rebounding combo against a smaller Brooklyn front court. The Grizzlies pulled within 4 at 30-26, but the Nets ran off 7 straight and held Memphis at arm's length, going into halftime with a 54 - 44 lead. Offensive fouls abounded (13) for Memphis in the half, but so did turnovers (10).
Tony Allen and Kosta Koufos (and Jon Leuer, late) were the only Grizzlies "in the mood" tonight -- they both played great. But at this point, with the playoffs on the line every night, individual performances are little consolation in losses like this. The Grizzlies starters, excepting Marc Gasol (7-14), were a combined 2-17. Lee and Prince (who did not take a shot in 17 minutes), both went -31 in the +/- column.