Memphis end Brooklyn’s bright start to 2013

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – The Memphis Grizzlies handed Brooklyn one of their heaviest defeats of the season on Friday, romping to a 101-77 victory over the Nets.

Spanish center Marc Gasol led the way with 20 points, all in the first half, and six of his team mates finished in double figures.

The game was as good as over by halftime with the Grizzlies leading 67-44. At one stage in the third quarter, they led by 30 before cooling down.

The victory improved the Grizzlies to 28-14 and consolidated their position in the top four of the Western Conference.

Brooklyn remained in the top four in the East despite the big loss. The Nets (26-14) have won 10 of their 12 games since the New Year and are one of the hottest teams in the NBA.

Nets center Brook Lopez had 18 points while power forward Reggie Evans added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Brooklyn.

The Miami Heat cruised to a comfortable 110-88 win over the Detroit Pistons to remain at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Dwyane Wade had 29 points and seven assists while last season’s Most Valuable Player LeBron James chipped in with 23 points as the reigning NBA champions improved to 28-12.

The San Antonio Spurs kept the pressure on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference.

The Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks 113-107 in Texas, with Tony Parker having 23 points and 10 assists, to extend their winning streak to seven games and improve to 35-11.

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