NEW YORK (AP) — Ever since trading top scorer Rudy Gay, the Memphis Grizzlies have shown they can still put up some points.
Heading into Sunday night's game in Brooklyn, Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins had a feeling his team would slow things down a bit with their defensive effort leading the way.
Zach Randolph had 16 points and 14 rebounds, Marc Gasol scored 14 points and the Grizzlies won their seventh straight game, 76-72 over the Nets.
"The key was our defense. I said to people before the game that the way Brooklyn plays and we play, it could be 76-70 and it was pretty close," Hollins said.
"We stopped Brooklyn five times in a row. We then make the free throws, go up and then we continued to get stops."
Two of those free throws Hollins was possibly referring to were critical and sent Brooklyn to its second straight loss, both without Joe Johnson, the team's second-leading scorer.
Tony Allen chipped in 12 points, including two free throws with 19.5 seconds left to give Memphis a 74-72 lead. Allen was originally credited with a basket after Brooklyn's MarShon Brooks was called for goaltending. After the referees looked over replays they switched their call and gave Allen two shots after he was grabbed by Nets forward Mirza Teletovic on the field goal attempt.
The referees made another questionable call before Allen's free throws.
With 26.9 seconds remaining, Deron Williams drove toward the rim and was met by Randolph with Allen trailing behind. As Williams was about to attempt his shot, replays showed Allen fouling Williams from behind, with Randolph also contesting the shot.
Williams said afterward that he thought he was fouled, while Allen called it a good defensive play.
"Down the stretch of the game I just had my antennas up and was ready to be aggressive. I forced Deron to the big man (Randolph) on their last possession and I thank Zach for being there to stop his angle," Allen said.
"Once he cocked the ball back, I was able to get my hand on the ball. Then I was able to finish at the free throw line."
Williams, who led Brooklyn with 24 points, fell hard on the arena floor, grabbed his lower left leg and ran up the court despite a noticeable limp. Williams got kicked in the calf and said he was sore but good to go in the team's next game Tuesday at New Orleans.
The Nets point guard has been playing through a bevy of injuries this season that has kept him out of a few games yet he tried to do everything he could with his backcourt mate Johnson out due to a sore left heel.
"I got fouled up top and down low," Williams said. "I drove to the lane. I got fouled."