Grizzlies 86 - Heat 91
- The Grizzlies started their south beach trip with physical inside play, drawing 2 fouls a piece from Greg Oden and Chris Anderson, opening up a timid defensive paint that they continued to exploit.
- The Heat gave up 5 turnovers in the first quarter, including a last second steal from Tony Allen. The Grizz also outrebounded the Heat 15-7.
- Zach Randolph ran all over the Heat, but it was his quick, pretty cutting pass to Nick Calathes for a bucket that was the best highlight of the quarter.
- The bench unit continued the physical play and had some of those flashes of great offense that Grizzlies fans have been accustomed to: James Johnson did some nifty footwork and came away with a backdoor slam and Calathes found Kosta Koufos slipping behind in the paint for a good look.
- But Ray Allen finally started hitting some shots, even though he was defended well, and the gap began to collapse.
- The Heat defense also showed up and that provided a difficult combination for the Grizzlies, who gave up 9 points off of turnovers in the quarter.
Moment of the Half:
Mike Miller's three-point when he came into the game was a standard operating procedure for the gunner, but this was the night that he received his championship ring from the Miami Heat. He was appropriately mobbed by his former team, but it was a nice moment to a very deserving player.
Player of the Half:
Tayshaun Prince guarded LeBron James as well as anyone could imagine, keeping him to six points in the first half. Even with the Heat pulling away at the end of the half, they still closed it out only up by 2 points and if James wasn't being mobbed by Prince, it would have been much uglier.
- Marc Gasol started on a roll on the left side of the basket, the Heat defense picking never rotating to pick him up and that sparked an 8-0 run that had the Grizzlies lead by 7.
- Gasol turned his ankle and left for the locker room, another scary moment for fans, but the offense rallied with another 8-0 run and kept up with their standards of rebounds and defense and a couple of nice steals.
- But the ending of the third was too much like the ending of the second quarter, and the Grizz seemed gassed. The Heat ended the game on a Birdman tip in and they were tied going into the 4th.
- The Grizzlies were saved by the poor shooting by the Heat to start the 4th and they would need some more saving as it was announced three minutes into the quarter that Gasol would not be returning.
- Zbo and Kofous kept plugging the middle with more points in the paint and a bevy of rebounds.
- Until LeBron James finally showed up towards the end of the quarter and helped the Heat pull away with a 7-0 run that gave the Heat the lead.
- James hit another clutch jumper with under 25-seconds to go putting the lead up to 4 points.
- Out of a time out, the Heat caught the Grizzlies asleep with Ray Allen completely open for a dunk. (When's the last time you saw Jesus Shuttlesworth dunk? Yeah, that's how open he was.) The Grizzlies were never able to recover.
Play of the Game-
Zach Randolph had a blown play on the left side of the basket, that turned into a double team by Chris Anderson and Dwayne Wade and he still shuffled his way out of their direction and pulled into the paint for a lay up.
Player of the Game-
Zach Randolph had 25 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists and gave the Heat interior more trouble than can fill a box score. He would have had even more if Gasol didn't go down in the third with what we can hope is only a temporary issue.