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Grizzlies 76, Nets 72

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NEW YORK -- Tony Allen made a big block on Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets and then followed with two free throws, all in a span of seven seconds in the waning moments, as the Grizzlies won their seventh straight, defeating Brooklyn, 76-72, on Sunday night at the Barclays Center.

Williams, who led all scorers with 24 points, was blocked by Allen as he drove to the basket with the score tied at 72-72 with 26 seconds to go. Williams fell to the floor, but didn't get the call and Allen was fouled at the other end and sank two free throws with 19.5 showing to break the tie.

Williams then had his pass picked off and Mike Conley sank both foul attempts with 8.2 seconds to go for the Grizzlies, who held the Nets (33-24) to their lowest point total of the season.

All five starters for Memphis (37-18) finished in double-digits in scoring, led by Zach Randolph with 16 and Marc Gasol with 14.

Gasol hit his first two shots and dropped in eight points in the first 2:59 of action as the Grizzlies rushed out to a 14-4 lead. But Williams countered with 10 points in the opening period, including eight when Brooklyn closed out the first quarter with a 10-0 run that handed Brooklyn a 19-16 lead. Williams, 4 for 4 in the period, hit two consecutive 3-pointers before MarShon Brooks grabbed his own missed free throw and capped the spurt with a layup.

In the second quarter, Memphis put together a 12-4 run that gave it a 41-34 edge with 1:32 left before the break. Gasol fueled the burst for the Grizzlies with a dunk and a foul-line jumper. Tayshaun Prince chipped in when he followed his own miss to score and Zach Randolph threw down a dunk for the visitors. Williams, who hit 5 of 6 shots and had 14 points in the half, dropped in a jumper and two free throws to pull the Nets within 43-38 at intermission.

The Nets shot just 38.5 percent from the floor over the first two quarters, but managed a 27-16 rebounding advantage during that span, led by Reggie Evans with seven and six apiece from Andray Blatche and Brooks.

The defenses dominated in the third quarter as both teams combined to score just 25 points. Darrell Arthur's dunk staked Memphis to a 53-49 lead. Brook Lopez followed with a strong move inside for the Nets before Quincy Pondexter closed out the third with a jumper that handed the Grizzlies a 55-51 advantage heading into the fourth.

NOTES: Nets guard Joe Johnson sat for a second straight game with a sore left heel. ... In games the Nets are tied or trailing by three points or fewer, Johnson is 9 for 10 from the field for 20 points, including a 3-pointer to tie the game and a two-pointer to win it in overtime for the Nets against Milwaukee on Feb. 19. ... C.J. Watson made his second straight start in place of the injured Johnson. ... In their Jan. 25 meeting, the Grizzlies held a 22-point advantage in the paint on the way to a 101-77 victory in Memphis. "They are one of, if not the best, post-up team in the league," Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "It's hard to imagine somebody better. It's one of the reasons they get so many points in the paint." ... Nets forward Reggie Evans took exception to how long Memphis kept its starters in the game in the previous meeting. "Apologies to Reggie Evans," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "If Reggie Evans wants to take umbrage with what happened with 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, he can. I don't take my starters out until I feel that we've won the game." ... The Grizzlies meet Dallas in Memphis on Wednesday. The Nets travel to meet New Orleans on Tuesday.
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