FedExForum was abuzz with playoff excitement on Wednesday night as the Miami Heat came to town. Both the Heat and Grizzlies had something to play for. The Heat were playing for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and the Grizzlies were playing to keep right on the heels of the 8th seeded Suns in the West. The Heat led by 4 points at the half, but during the second half the Grizzlies took control. The signature play of the game was Courtney Lee’s corner three as time expired to end the third quarter which came after a Miami Heat turnover. When Lee’s shot fell, it started to feel like it was going to be a good night on Beale Street for the Grizzlies. Of course, that bucket only made the score tied at 80, but the momentum was clearly in the Grizzlies’ favor.
What really won the game for the Grizzlies was the sensational defensive play of Tony Allen. He forced many turnovers, and had 3 steals of his own. His energy down the stretch is truly what propelled the Grizzlies to victory. Even though the final score was 107-102, defense is still what won this game for the Grizzlies. They got stops when they needed to and they hit shots when they needed to. To put it simply, the Grizzlies did what was necessary to win this ever so crucial game.
Coming to town next are the woeful Philadelphia 76ers. The Grizzlies should easily get that win along with the following game on the road against the Lakers. However, the last two games of the Grizzlies’ season could potentially decide their season, which are at Phoenix against the Suns and at home against the Mavericks. Games at this time of year are crucial, and to get one tonight against the Heat is nothing short of huge for the Grizzlies. Hopefully this win gets them to play well the rest of the way and win their remaining 4 games.
—Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord