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October 31, 2015, Queens, NY  The New Jersey Nets lost for the third time in three games. That means they haven’t won a game this season. But, it’s early still, and there are 79 games left. The Memphis Grizzlies handled the Nets with relative ease beating them by a score of 101-91 in a game that wasn’t as competitive as the score would indicate.

Bojan Bogdanovic led the Nets with 19 points coming off the bench. Jarrett Jack poured in 15 points, and Brook Lopez added 12. Joe Johnson and Thaddeus Young scored 11 points each. Thomas Robinson grabbed 12 rebounds in 15 minutes of play. Robinson played with lots of elan and would appear to have a bright future. Lopez snared 10 rebounds, and Young pulled down 9. Jack had 12 assists. The Nets shot nearly 50% from the field (48.1% on 38/79 shooting), but their achilles was the 3-point shooting where they shot a paltry 3-13 (23.1%). Turnovers also led to their downfall. The Nets turned the ball over 12 times.

Memphis guard Mike Conley led all scorers with 22 points. Zach Randolph and Courtney Lee added 15 points apiece. Randolph had a good night on the boards getting 13 rebounds. Memphis shot only 42.5% from the field shooting 34 for 80 but made 9 of 23 3-pointers. The most telling stat was the free throw shooting. The Nets made 12 of 18 free throws while the Grizzlies made 24-28. That’s a 12-point difference from the charity stripe in a game where the Nets lost by 10.

Nets Coach Lionel Hollins

Nets Coach Lionel Hollins

Nets coach, Lionel Hollins said in the post-game interview, “Tonight, we came out and battled early, and then we struggled to score in the second quarter. We came back in the third quarter, played decent but got behind.” Hollins remained optimistic, “I am happy with the progress we’re making, happy that we kept battling, we kept staying together. And as I told the players, it’s going to turn around. We have a lot of improvement that’s needed, but we’re also making a lot of progress.” At this early juncture in the season, you may not think it’s time for such “spinning” but Hollins is aware the Nets’ season may be determined by what they do in the first 15-20 games.

Jason Kidd, who coached the Nets for just one season, returns to Barclays Center on Monday, November 2, with the Milwaukee Bucks. Kidd didn’t leave the Nets on the best of terms so revenge will be on the minds of both the Nets and Kidd. The game will start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available. The game will also be televised on the YES Network. Check your local listings.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.


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