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Grizzlies return to the winning path guided by Leuer's double-double

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Memphis Grizzlies win at home again after the loss to the Spurs. Jon Leuer led with 20 & 12 coming off the bench, and the Conley-Lee backcourt shot 15 of 17 to improve Grizzlies' record to 16-4.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score: Miami 87 - Memphis 103

Recap (with notes)

Pregame

It's basketball time. FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee. The Miami Heat (9-10) against the Memphis Grizzlies (15-4).

Pete Pranica: "Dave, it's being one of your points of emphasis to get off to fast starts, but yet in first quarters you're averaging about 23.5 points per first quarter. Talking about fast starts is one thing, how do you turn it into action and get a good start?"

Dave Joerger: "We really have to do a good job of guarding, and trying to get some early offense. We have to stop caring about getting this guy going or the other. The ball needs to move, and we need to be in attack mode, you know, right from the jump. We did not do that in the last couple of games, and hopefully we correct that tonight."

EXTRA- NBA.com writer Ian Thomsen: "Conley should be an All-Star."

1st Quarter

  • The game started with everybody going to post Lee. Deng and Wade were enjoying, scoring, and dishing good passes to McRoberts and Bosh in the paint.
  • Allen began the game being all over the place offensively, which is fun to see, but never an effective way to win basketball games.
  • So four minutes into the game and it's 15-9 for the Miami Heat, featuring very good ball movement and dominance in the paint with 12 points already. Lee OUT, Prince IN.
  • A good Memphis 9-2 scoring run followed that: Prince for two (still carrying the good "You can call me Tay, and I'm ON FIRE" of the game against the Spurs), Z-Bo and Allen with another bucket each, and a three "a la Curry" by Conley to put the Grizzlies leading the game 17-18.
  • Then Leuer appeared, and after a block and a dunk, everybody at FedExForum knew that it was going to be a good Badger night.
  • The first quarter finished with Memphis winning by two, 26-28. Allen was the leading scorer with 9 points, and the bench was already making a difference with both Leuer and Prince scoring 4.

2nd Quarter & Halftime

  • Two 3-pointers for the Grizzlies to keep the good flow in the second quarter presented by Lee and Leuer. And Leuer and Lee again for a couple of buckets more, while Koufos' defense improved the situation in the paint against the bigs of Miami.
  • Quincy was trying to guard Wade (an elegant phrase that means Wade was schooling Pondexter badly), but there are certain things in life you cannot do, no matter how hard you try, and Wade kept scoring the basketball, showing he still has IT.
  • On the other side of the court, Pondexter missed two consecutive threes, and Wade and Bosh decided to keep the game alive. It was 40-42 after a 8-0 scoring run by Miami.
  • Conley returned to the game and did what he was born to do: play good basketball. Awesome dribble play between two Heat players to dish 2 easy points to Z-Bo. Miami 48, Memphis 55, and the break was there.
  • For the Heat, Wade finished the first half with 15 points, including 8 from Bosh.
  • And for the Grizzlies, Gasol was scoreless, but Jonny already had 11 points. Another surprising thing to notice was the 12 of 14 shooting between Conley, Allen, and Lee. Grizzles were shooting 62% from the field with 3-6 3-pointers.

3rd Quarter

  • Gasol scored his first and only two points of the game beginning the third quarter.
  • Deng wanted to utilize the same strategy as at the beginning of the game, but he couldn't buy a bucket under the rim, even with the smaller Lee behind him, so Lee's confidence achieved extraterrestrial levels. He started hitting every shot he tried, including a WTF-expiring-clock-falling-to-the-ground three that caused Pranica to say this very sweet sentence: "some days is just your day".
  • Grizzlies led by 15 (56-71), but all of a sudden the Miami big three felt inspired again to score 7 straight to cut the lead.
  • Then Super-Conley came to the rescue with a three (HE DID NOT MISS A SHOT IN THE WHOLE GAME: 8-8 shooting and 2-2 threes), but the problems cleaning the glass were still making the Grizzlies pay, and the game remained in the plus 7 range for the blue bears.

4th Quarter & Postgame

  • The bench unit (Koufos, Leuer, Prince, Quincy, and Beno) came up sloppy as they turned the ball over in three consecutive possessions to start the quarter, and Wade kept scoring the basketball to make some Grizzlies fans feel the fear of a potential and devastating third consecutive loss. 10 minutes remaining, and it was 79-82 for the Grizzlies.
  • Pondexter (consistency is not your strength, Q) OUT, and Allen IN.
  • And Tony did indeed change the momentum of the game like only the Grindfather can do: monster defensive rebound and assist to Prince... FOR THREE (I never thought I would be saying this, but Prince is playing awesome basketball right now. He deserves his 20+ minutes because he's playing like a boss.) And in the next Miami possession, Allen takes away the ball from Wade AND TWO more points in the box score for him (13 points for the night for TA, which is always good).
  • Then a bit of Memphis' public enemy Chalmers, but not too much, because Leuer was ready for another three. And with the excitement of the moment, Allen started dribbling too much to compensate his awesome sequence just before (just a classic TonyING moment, always keeping the balance between good and bad, light and dark, order and chaos).
  • Beno also wanted to leave his mark with an unbelievable jumper, and then more Leuer was about to happen (and I mean, when things like Leuer getting a double-double and dunking like you'll see now happen, you already know the Memphis Grizzlies are winning the game no matter what).
  • Respect the Badger!!!
  • The end. Miami 87, Memphis 103. 16-4 now for the Grizzlies.
  • Best player for the Miami Heat: Wade with 25 points.
  • Top performances for the Grizzlies: Jon Leuer with 20 points and 12 rebounds, Mike Conley with 18 points with no missed shot, and Courtney Lee with 17 points on 7-9 shooting and 3-3 threes.

On to the next one: Grizzlies vs. Mavericks, Dec 9th at FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN.