JaMychal Green and Mike Conley had big games for the Grizzlies, but it wasn’t enough as a rough third quarter, and a questionable jump ball call late in the fourth, led to a Grizzlies loss in Miami Saturday evening.
Afternoon tipoffs tend to impact a teams’ energy in the early going. The Grizzlies didn’t suffer from that early Saturday. Quickly after the 4:00pm central start the team came out with some fire on both sides of the ball, running up a 12-point lead through the first 4-plus minutes. Good ball movement and good floor spacing led to some excellent wide-open shots, giving the Grizzlies the jump.
That timeout proved to be a catalyst for a Miami comeback. Over the next six minutes, sparked by Dwyane Wade and Derrick Jones Jr. off the bench, the Heat came back and took a brief 30-28 lead. Memphis would close out the quarter with a 6-0 run to go into the break with a 34-30 lead.
JaMychal Green carried some of that early Grizzly eergy into the second quarter, scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds in his first nine minutes of action off the bench. Memphis went back up 11 points again, before a Miami timeout early in the quarter. Again, the Miami timeout, paired this time with an ankle/leg injury to Kyle Anderson gave the Heat a big boost. A 15-3 Miami run gave the Heat the lead again, this time at 46-45.
Miami closed out the second with a 29-16 run, including a Wade 2-pointer at the buzzer to give the Heat a 63-61 lead at the half. Justise Winslow had a monster first half with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, and was an awesome +15 in the 19:14 he played in the half. Green led the way for the Grizzlies with his 14 points, while Mike Conley had 13 and Jaren Jackson Jr. chipped in 10.
The third quarter looked like a lot of the Grizzlies games lately. Low ball movement, shots early in the shot clock, and questionable defense leaving shooters wide open for three. Miami built up a double digit lead of their own behind baskets from Winslow, Josh Richardson, and Bam Adebayo. The Grizzlies closed it down to five with 1:50 to go in the period, but some sloppy play led to Miami taking a 91-83 lead into the fourth.
The Grizzlies didn’t roll over and go away, though. A Conley three tied things up at 99, a Marc Gasol three tied it up at 102, and a Green basket down low tied it again at 108 with 1:33 left. Miami got a huge offensive rebound with 9.5 seconds left and went up 110-108 after 1-of-2 free throws from Richardson. From there, the jump-ball-that-probably-wasn’t did in the Grizzlies, as Miami free throws closed it out.
Green led the way for Memphis with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Conley finished with only 22 after a last-second three from about 75 feet was disallowed. Gasol had 15 points while Shelvin Mack added 13.
Winslow led the way for all scorers with 26 points and a plus-23 in 33:39. In Wade’s last career game against the Grizzlies, he finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
The Grizzlies will be back in action Monday, as they try to contain James Harden and the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston.