Conley carries Grizzlies past Nets 131-125 in 2OTs
Conley, a veteran point guard, then showed Jaren Jackson Jr. how he could single-handedly beat a team over two overtime periods.
Conley scored 13 of Memphis 14 points in the second overtime session, Jackson scored a career-high 36 points and the Grizzlies beat the Brooklyn Nets 131-125 Friday.
“He’s got a big heart, man. He’s got the gene to make the big shots in the big time moments”, Conley said of the 19-year-old Jackson.
“Man, he is built for it. The shots he made were shots a lot of young guys won’t attempt.”
Even with Marc Gasol and Conley on the floor, the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft had the confidence to hit a 25-foot 3-pointer from the left wing before he got fouled and closed the deficit to 111-108 with 26.8 seconds left.
Brooklyn then fumbled an inbounds play with 23 seconds left, placing the ball in Jackson’s hand once again.
Gasol found Jackson, whose 30-foot shot from the right wing evened it 111-all, setting the stage for Conley’s overtime surge.
“It’s whoever we put out there,” Jackson said. “Whoever is called upon down the stretch, you got to be ready.”
Jackson became the third-youngest in league history with a 30-point game behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
“In winning time, to take those shots, it takes a unique heart, skill, ability and just cold-blooded nature,” Memphis coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.
“Jaren has that.”
Conley kept Memphis’ hopes alive in regulation when he blocked Spencer Dinwiddie’s potential game-winning basket and then scored on a floater to tie it 117-all with nine seconds left in the first overtime period.
The Grizzlies’ point guard then practically beat the Nets on his own in the second overtime period, shooting 3-for-5 from the field and making all seven of his free throws to finish with 37 points and 10 rebounds.
Conley had let the Nets back into the game with an errant pass with 2:59 left.
D’Angelo Russell, who finished 26 points, made a reverse layup to put the Nets ahead 125-124.
He tried to go shot-for-shot with Conley, but his eight points in the second overtime period weren’t quite enough.
“He’s tough, he’s proven in this league and capable of doing this day in and day out,” Russell said.
But Conley went back to work, hitting a jumper and making a pair of free throws that extended Memphis’ lead to 128-125 with 19.9 seconds left. The Grizzlies never trailed again.
Gasol had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
DeMarre Carroll had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, whose losing streak hit five games.
The Nets broke away from a tightly contested game in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter after the teams traded leads for most of the first three periods.
Former Nets player Marshawn Brooks gave Memphis am 87-80 lead to start the fourth before Brooklyn’s defense tightened and its offense took off with a 14-0 run, capped by DeMarre Carroll’s putback layup with 8:00 remaining in the game.
After Gasol traveled and then missed an easy shot to the right side of the rim, Spencer Dinwiddie gave the Nets their biggest lead of the game with a 3-pointer from the left corner that made it 102-92.
Memphis cut the lead 109-104 on Garrett Temple’s basket before Dinwiddie’s layup made it 111-104 with 33 seconds remaining.
Jackson then connected on a four-point play after he was fouled on a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left.
Jackson then took advantage of a botched inbounds play by Brooklyn when Russell lost control of the ball, and followed up by hitting a 3 from the left wing.
Grizzlies: Memphis had lost its last three games to the Nets. . Jackson fell a point shy of tying Shareef Andul-Raheem’s rookie franchise record for points in a regular-season game. . Jackson’s 36 points are the most by a rookie in the NBA this year. . It’s the first time two Memphis players scored 30-plus in a regular-season game when Conley (31) and Gasol (30) did it on March 7, 2009, against Philadelphia
Nets: G Joe Harris was held out of Friday night’s game due to tightness in his left adductor. . Carroll’s 21 points of the bench were the most he’s had off the bench in his career.
Memphis coach J.B. Bickerstaff wouldn’t mind having veteran big man Joakim Noah coming off his bench if he does end up signing with the Grizzlies.
Noah became a free agent on Oct. 13, a week before the season tipped off after the veteran declined a buyout and was waived by the New York Knicks after his disappointing two-year stint came to an end.
But the 33-year-old center seems like a good fit on a Memphis team that ranks fifth in defensive efficiency, allowing 103.1 points per 100 possessions.
It was reported early Friday that the New York City native was close to agreeing to a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal.
“Any time you add or have the possibility of adding a veteran, a guy who is a defensive-minded player, a really good defensive rebounder, you know it adds to the depth of any team”, Bickerstaff said before Friday night’s game in Brooklyn.
‘If that were to happen it would be a bonus for us.”
Grizzlies: Visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.
Nets: Visit the Washington Wizards on Saturday.