Yi Jianlian scored 20 points, and Brook Lopez added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Nets, who won despite playing without their leading scorer. Devin Harris, who leads New Jersey with 23.1 points per game, sat out with a strained right hamstring he aggravated Monday against Sacramento.
Bobby Simmons chipped in 12 points for the Nets, who have won three of four overall.
O.J. Mayo had a game-high 26 points for Memphis, which has lost two in a row and six out of its last seven overall. Rudy Gay added 23 points and six rebounds, while Marc Gasol ended with 14 points and 10 boards in the loss for the Grizzlies.
Already ahead by five points with just under four minutes remaining in the opening quarter, the Nets used a seven-point burst to take a substantial lead. Carter had all of the points -- four free throws and a three-pointer, which gave New Jersey a 27-15 advantage with nearly 1 1/2 minutes left in the stanza.
The Nets carried a 32-18 edge into the second quarter, which was a back-and- forth affair, and the home team led 55-42 at halftime.
A six-point burst from Memphis late in the third quarter -- two baskets from Gay and a Mayo jumper -- cut the Grizzlies' deficit under 10, at 73-67. But Eduardo Najera countered with two buckets in a row, one a three-pointer, to put the Nets back up by double digits with two minutes left in the frame.
New Jersey held an 81-71 lead heading into the fourth, and the scoring was sparse for the first seven minutes of the final stanza. The teams combined for 14 points, and Carter's basket with a little over five minutes to play gave the Nets an 89-77 advantage.
About a minute later, Lopez's dunk gave New Jersey a 14-point lead, and the Nets held on for the win for the remaining four minutes.