Lin leads late rally as Nets defeat Grizzlies 122-109

Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin grabs a rebound against Memphis Grizzlies guard Toney Douglas (16) during the second half at FedExForum. (Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters)
Updated 07 March 2017

Lin leads late rally as Nets defeat Grizzlies 122-109

MEMPHIS, USA: The Memphis Grizzlies’ downward spiral is in full spin right now. A loss to the lowly Brooklyn Nets provided the latest proof of their troubles.
The Nets put together a fourth-quarter rally to break open a close game and beat Memphis 122-109 on Monday night, winning for only the second time in the last 20 games.
The loss to the worst team in the NBA was the third straight for the Grizzlies and fifth defeat in the last seven.
“I don’t know what to say,” said reserve forward Zach Randolph, who had 10 points, but was 4 of 12 from the field.
Sean Kilpatrick led the Nets with 23 points, but it was a fourth-quarter performance by Jeremy Lin, who scored nine straight points down the stretch, that gave Brooklyn the cushion it needed. Lin finished with 18 points, including 11 in the final frame.
“He had some big shots and he made some big shots,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “But I thought everyone contributed. . It was really a team victory.”
Isaiah Whitehead scored 15 points, while Randy Foye and Caris LeVert added 14 apiece as Brooklyn shot 53 percent in snapping a two-game slide.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 32 points, his eighth 30-point game this season.
The teams traded leads until a little more than 4 minutes remained when a dunk by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson started a stretch of eight straight Brooklyn points, part of a 13-2 run for the Nets. Lin scored nine straight in the spurt, including a 3-pointer to give the Nets a 116-106 lead with 1:43 left.
“We had too many ‘My bads’ and too many ‘We should have done this, we should have done that,’” said Memphis center Marc Gasol, who had 18 points. “Too many of them. Especially down the stretch.”
The game had 15 lead changes and nine ties, the last lead change coming with Hollis-Jefferson’s dunk. In the game-clinching push, Lin had four straight free throws and a 10-footer before his 3-pointer stretched the lead to 10.
Memphis, which carried a 57-56 lead into intermission, built the advantage to 12 in the third and carried a 91-88 lead into the final quarter.

Nets: The win snapped a five-game Brooklyn losing streak against Memphis. ... Kilpatrick converted 16 of 17 free throws. ... Brooklyn played its sixth game of the eight-game circus road trip, covering about 8,100 miles over 16 days. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was at the Barclays Center, which will now host the ACC Tournament. ... LeVert made all five of his shots, including two from outside the arc, through the first three quarters before his only miss — a 3-pointer in the fourth.
Grizzlies: Memphis made all seven of its 3-pointers in the first quarter. Vince Carter missed the opening attempt of the second to end the streak. Memphis finished the night 10 of 25 from outside the arc. ... Carter passed Moses Malone (1,329) for 16th in NBA history for career regular-season games played. ... F Brandan Wright, who had missed several games, returned after his wife gave birth to twin girls.

Change is here
Memphis coach David Fizdale tipped his hand on a lineup change in pregame comments. Fizdale noted the Grizzlies entered the game 14-13 since Jan. 1 and that is unacceptable. “At some point, obviously, I’m going to look to shake some things up,” he said. He started Andrew Harrison at guard and Wright at forward with JaMychal Green and Tony Allen coming off the bench.

Attitude adjustment
Lin said the win is part of an effort to build a new identity for the Nets. “We want to develop a nastiness about us. We want to develop a toughness about us. Hopefully, we can continue to build on this.”

Up next
Nets: Continue their eight-game road trip with the seventh stop on Wednesday in Atlanta.
Grizzlies: Play the second game of their four-game homestand Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers as the two teams jockey for postseason position in the Western Conference.

Thiem into ATP Finals semis as Djokovic and Federer face shootout

Updated 2 min 41 sec ago

Thiem into ATP Finals semis as Djokovic and Federer face shootout

  • Austrian fifth seed took fight to the world No. 2, recovering from losing the first set to triumph

LONDON: Dominic Thiem produced a scintillating display of attacking tennis to beat Novak Djokovic and qualify for the last four at the ATP Finals on Tuesday, leaving the Serbian facing a shootout against Roger Federer.

In the standout match so far at London’s O2 Arena, the Austrian fifth seed took the fight to the world No. 2, recovering from losing the first set to triumph 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)

Earlier, Federer put himself back in the mix at the end-of-season event with a 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 win against Italian debutant Matteo Berrettini in their round-robin clash.

Federer and Djokovic will face off on Thursday in a repeat of this year’s Wimbledon final to determine who else will progress from Group Bjorn Borg.

Thiem was forced to play high-stakes tennis against the 16-time Grand Slam winner, taking the breath away with some of his inside-out forehands and single-handed backhands

Forced to play at his limit, he hit 50 winners compared with Djokovic’s tally of 27 but also racked up 44 unforced errors.

“This was really one of these special matches, what I’ve practiced all my life for, all my childhood for,” Thiem said.

“Really epic one in an amazing atmosphere, beating a legend of our game. And also I’ve qualified for the semifinals, which is the best.

“Coming back from 1-4 (down in the deciding tie-break) was a little bit of luck, but it was an unbelievable match and one I’ll never forget. Novak is the best player in the world and I had to do something special.”

In a captivating first set the players swapped a break apiece but Djokovic, a five-time ATP Finals champion, edged the tie-break.

Undaunted, Thiem broke his opponent at the first opportunity in the second set and, with Djokovic’s error count climbing, went on to level the match.

Thiem also drew first blood in the decider but cracked in the sixth game as Djokovic levelled the match and appeared to have engineered a switch in momentum.

The Austrian successfully challenged at 30-30 in the 10th game after his forehand was ruled out, preventing a match point for Djokovic and he toughed it out to level at 5-5.

He then broke Djokovic to love to earn a chance to serve for the match but stumbled and the decider went to a tie-break.

Still the drama was not finished. Thiem slipped to 4-1 down but battled back to win it on his second match point when Djokovic dumped a forehand into the net.

Third seed Federer had put himself under the cosh by losing his opening round-robin match to Thiem. The six-time champion was not at his fluent best on Tuesday but ultimately had too much for his Italian opponent.

The Swiss upped his game to take the first set tie-break comfortably and broke immediately at the start of the second set to leave the big-serving Berrettini with too much to do.

Federer was asked after his win against Berrettini whether his defeat to Djokovic at Wimbledon had left emotional or mental scars.

“We’ll find out, but I think it’s all flushed away from my side,” said the Swiss.

“A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.”

Djokovic is hunting a sixth ATP Finals title to pull level with Federer’s record and is also seeking to pip Rafael Nadal to the year-end number one ranking.

On Monday, top seed Nadal lost his opener in Group Andre Agassi to defending champion Alexander Zverev while Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Daniil Medvedev.