“I can’t wait until we find a way to trade him so we can play him and show him what really Memphis is about.”
Dillon Brooks said this back in February of 2020 before the Grizzlies traded Andre Iguodala after he had refused to suit up for the team. He was hungry to face Iguodala, and he finally got his opportunity tonight. To say that he made the most of it would be an understatement as the Grizzlies cruised to a 124-112 win on the road in Miami behind 28 points from Brooks (Iguodala got his steps in, putting up nothing on the scoreboard in 19 minutes).
The Heat were able to take an early first quarter lead behind hot shooting as well as an aggressive Bam Adebayo. However, the Grizzlies’ short-handed bench was able to unexpectedly take the lead as Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman, who scored 8 and 7 points respectively in the half respectively, set the tone on both ends of the court. The Grizzlies would lead 37-34 at the end of the frame
The Heat were also absolutely powerless to stop Kyle Anderson and Jonas Valanciunas, who combined for 35 points in the first half to lead the Grizzlies to a 66-57 lead at the break.
And let me not mince words here: the third quarter entirely belonged to Dillon Brooks. He scored 23 points in the third quarter with Jimmy Butler as his primary defender, which is the second-most for a single quarter in franchise history behind only Jaren Jackson Jr.’s explosion against Milwaukee last year. The Grizzlies would take a 96-89 lead into the 4th, before the bench once again excelled and effectively put the game out of reach.
The Grizzlies offense truly thrived against a notoriously stingy Heat defense, as they shot 55% from the field and 42% on a ridiculous 17-41 from beyond the arc. Valanciunas finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Bane scored 15 points on 6-12 shooting.
Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 28 points and Bam Adebayo posted an 18-10-10 stat line, but the Grizzlies managed to hold everyone else in check.
Ja Morant limped off the court with an apparent non-contact back issue at the end of the game, and there has been no update as of this writing.