MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The perils of yet another double-digit defeat haven't broken the Nets' spirit.
They remain confident that they can flip the script and get on the winning track before their season spirals out of control, even after a 101-91 loss to the Grizzlies at FedEx Forum Saturday night.
They are winless in three tries, hoping they can reverse course Monday when old friend Jason Kidd brings his Bucks to Brooklyn.
"It's just three games into the season," Jarrett Jack said. "I don't even know if we are at the point of turning anything around. It's just three games in, and Monday we have another opportunity to right the ship."
At this rate, it feels as if the Nets have to raise the Titanic.
Playing intensely for the full four quarters has been a major issue, and it's something they know they must correct. Or else.
"It's like I told the players, it's going to turn around," coach Lionel Hollins said. "We've got lots of improvement that's needed, but we've also made a lot of progress."
Bojan Bogdanovic led the Nets with 19 points and Jack had 15 points and nine assists.
Mike Conley had 22 points and eight assists for Memphis (2-1).
Hollins tried to spur the Nets by changing his starting lineup, but that proved fruitless.
Looking to shake things up to minimize the offensive stagnation developing in some on-floor combinations, Hollins inserted Markel Brown at shooting guard for Wayne Ellington.
Ellington hadn't given the Nets much through the season's first two games, shooting 1-for-9 and scoring only three points. So Hollins threw an early-season curveball and tossed in the guy who started 29 regular-season games a year ago, the second most among rookies on teams that made the playoffs.
But Brook Lopez's foul woes wreaked a little havoc on Hollins' ability to have the quintet together on the floor as much as he might have liked.
The 7-footer was whistled for an offensive foul with 2:57 remaining in the first quarter and sat out the entire second.
But the Nets, who trailed 56-45 at halftime, managed to hang around and trimmed a 15-point third-quarter margin down to six on Jack's pull-up with 55.2 seconds remaining in the game.
However, Zach Randolph was clutch, as usual, tossing in a 6-foot turnaround jumper 15 seconds after Jack's bucket to put the Grizzlies ahead 99-91 and send the Nets home still winless.
"We had some great spots tonight to where we were playing pretty good basketball," Joe Johnson said. "Even in that fourth quarter, we were able to cut to to single digits. But it's just tough down the stretch defensively. We just had a lot of miscommunication and gave up a lot of easy shots."
"It's mental toughness," Hollins had said before tipoff. "It's not letting anything get you down from continuing to play. It's very easy to get down when a team gets a run . . . You have to always keep coming back and coming back and giving your best shot each possession."