• Erik Slater

DeMarre Carroll leads Nets past Grizzlies

DeMarre Carroll scored a season-high 24 points to lift the Nets to a 98-88 win over the struggling Grizzlies Sunday night.

Carroll shot 4-6 from three and 6-6 from the free throw line in the win. Trevor Booker gave the Nets a boost off the bench, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Booker saw an elevated role as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson left the game early with an ankle injury.

Tyreke Evans and Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 18 points apiece.

The Nets fought back to tie the game going into the half after trailing by as many as eight early on.

Brooklyn came out hot in the third quarter. The offense ran smoothly, the shots were falling and the defense was active. The Nets led by as many as 19 points in the third.

Memphis began to find a rhythm offensively in the fourth quarter and cut the Brooklyn lead to five with eight minutes remaining. However, that would be as close as the Grizzlies would get as the Nets hit their shots and hunkered down defensively down the stretch.

The play of DeMarre Carroll was nothing short of spectacular in this win. A player who was seen as a salary dump for Toronto is playing at an extremely high level for Brooklyn. Carroll is averaging a career-high 13.8 PPG while shooting 37.1% from three and grabbing 6.8 rebounds per game.

Carroll plays with an intensity that is contagious to those around him. One play in this game truly showed who Carroll is as a player. Everyone on the Nets began to run back on defense after a missed shot, but Carroll hung back and crept up for a steal. He then kicked the ball out to Spencer Dinwiddie who shot a quick three and missed, but Carroll fought off two defenders and back tapped the ball to keep the possession alive. The Nets would wind up getting a layup out of the possession.

These hustle plays are the plays that win games. Carroll truly embodies the term Brooklyn Grit. The nine-year NBA veteran acknowledged his hustle role in his postgame press conference, "Yeah you know I just got a knack for the ball. I just gotta continue to keep doing me and being that junkyard dog."

Just a reminder that Sean Marks got Carroll, a first-round pick and a second-round pick for Justin Hamilton. Well done Sean.

The Nets will look to build off the win as they head to Houston Monday night for a showdown with James Harden and the Rockets.