Memphis Grizzlies Cool Off Miami in 103-87 Win

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Dec 7, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) drives against Miami Heat guard Norris Cole (30) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Miami Heat 103-87 on Sunday night to earn their 16th win of the early season.

This was the first meeting between the Heat and the Grizzlies since LeBron James bolted in free-agency to rejoin his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. Though there is no LeBron, the Heat still have a playoff-worthy team. Luol Deng is an All-Star caliber player on both ends of the court that has stepped in nicely at the small forward position, while Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have both increased this season’s production from recent years due to James’ absence.

On this Sunday evening, the Grizz were impressive–snapping their two-game losing streak while showing improvements from their lackluster play this past week. They are now standing at 16-4 overall.

While the game became close in the early part of the fourth quarter due to Miami’s stars and experience, the home crowd’s enthusiasm helped Memphis pull another victory out of the mud in the Grindhouse.

This edition of the grit ‘n’ grind can be found below.

First Half

The game opened up with a couple rather unlikely scorers for each team– Tony Allen with nine Grizzly points and Josh McRoberts with seven points for Miami. When T.A. is playing a complete game–because you KNOW he will always bring the defense–the Grizz are tough to stop.

The first quarter was a back-and-forth contest, with the Grizzlies leading by two at 28-26 after the first 12 minutes of play.

Memphis began the second quarter with by putting a quick five points up on the board. Soon after, the Grizzlies (Marc Gasol) were assessed a technical foul because of their second delay of game violation.

Even with the Heat attempting to take control of the game, Jon Leuer provided a spark off the bench. He added 11 points and six rebounds by the 6:43 mark. This was huge because Marc Gasol had been held scoreless up to this point, so someone had to step up, and Leuer did just that.

The Heat are one of the most experienced teams in the league, and they demonstrated that by countering the Grizz. Dwyane Wade carried Miami with a 15-point scoring outburst while Chris Bosh added eight points of his own.

Marc Gasol had a rough first half, going scoreless.

The halftime score read  55-48 in favor of Memphis.

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  • Second Half

    Marc Gasol finally added two points in the third quarter, two more than he had in the  entire first half. Courtney Lee began to add a scoring punch to cover up for Gasol. Lee and Mike Conley enjoyed a great scoring game as a backcourt tandem, and a high-percentage night for their shooting, too.

    Miami kept hanging around throughout the third quarter, not allowing the Grizzlies to run away with the game just yet.

    82-75 was the score at the end of the third quarter– Memphis’ lead.

    Dwyane Wade cut it to a 3-point lead with 10:02 remaining in the game with a dunk. The Grizzlies responded. Leuer had made two free-throws and Prince made a three-point shot to give Memphis a 88-79 lead.

    Even without LeBron in a Heat jersey, Dwyane Wade remains the heart and soul of the Miami Heat. Wade tallied 25 points and six assists tonight, including him carrying the team to give them a chance in the ballgame.

    The Memphis defense took a hit when Tony Allen picked up his fifth personal foul with 6:15 remaining; however, Coach Joerger kept the Grindfather in the game. Shortly after, Koufos and Wade got into a heated discussion and the two were assessed with technical fouls.

    Memphis was not going to back down. The punches kept coming. Beno Udrih nailed a difficult shot with 4:16 remaining in the game. This increased the Grizzly lead to 15 and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had seen too much, calling a timeout.

    Jon Leuer continued the madness with a thunderous dunk, pushing his stats to 20 points and 10 rebounds–his best performance this season. He would finish with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and two steals.

    Memphis would prevail in this matchup by a final score of 103-87.

    The box score, produced by ESPN, can be found here.

    Key Game Notes

    • Marc Gasol was nearly invisible in the box score tonight, finishing with two points on one of six shooting–his worst scoring game of the season thus far.
    • Vince Carter did not check into the game.
    • Five Grizzlies scored in double figures.
    • Mike Conley shot 100% with his eight of eight shooting.
    • Courtney Lee made seven of his nine shots.
    • Marc Gasol led Memphis in assists with seven for the game.
    • Josh McRoberts scored the most for Miami (14) after Wade (25).
    • Chris Bosh finished with just 12 points.
    • Justin Timberlake was in attendance, sitting courtside.

    Fantasy Watch: Grizzlies Edition

    • Tony Allen: 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals, two turnovers
    • Zach Randolph: 17 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal
    • Courtney Lee: 17 points on 7/9 shooting, one rebound, three assists, two steals
    • Mike Conley: 18 points on 8/8 shooting, two assists, three turnovers
    • Jon Leuer: 20 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block, one turnover
    • Marc Gasol: two points on 1/6 shooting, six rebounds, seven assists, one block, two turnovers

    Next Game

    The Memphis Grizzlies will take on Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, and the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday on Memphis’ home floor. The Grizzlies will be looking to improve to 17-4 in that contest.

    Schedule Outlook

    The Grizz have two home games this week (Dallas and Charlotte, respectively) and one road game on Saturday (Philadelphia). This will lead into a difficult stretch of the schedule that will begin one week from tomorrow.

    Go Grizz!