The Miami Heat will be visiting the Memphis Grizzlies tonight at 6:00 in FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee. It's the first of two meetings this season between the infrequent competitors, and the only time they will match up in Memphis. The Heat will be playing in the second game of a six game road trip, and riding a four game winning streak. They took three straight at home before starting their road swing by beating the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, 95-89. They will continue their trip afterward with stops in Houston, Los Angeles (Clippers), Denver and Phoenix. The Grizzlies are in the midst of a four game winning streak of their own, with an average victory margin of 11 points. Most recently, they defeated the Houston Rockets in a home game on Friday, 93-85. They'll hit the road to face the defending Western Conference Champion Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. The two teams last met on April 6th as the 30-23 Grizzlies surprised the 39-14 Heat at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. Partial recap courtesy of NBA.COM:
The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Miami Heat 97-82 Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena. Forward Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 17 points while guard Mike Conley added 15. The Grizzlies had seven players score in double-figures, including Marreese Speights (15) and Zach Randolph (14). The Grizzlies never trailed after jumping out to an early 8-2 lead. They led by as many as 19 in the first half and were able withstand every Heat rally. Miami pulled to within 60-50 on Chris Bosh's jumper with five minutes left in the third quarter, but got no closer. The Grizzlies matched every Heat basket before increasing the lead to 21 midway through the fourth quarter. Miami, which shot 40 percent from the field, was led by LeBron James' 21 points. Bosh finished with 19 points while Dwyane Wade had 20.
NBA CIRCLE - Memphis Grizzlies Vs Miami Heat Highlights April 06, 2012 www.nbacircle.com (via NEWNBACIRCLE)
Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins spoke afterward:
"The first time I looked up at the scoreboard, we were up 15 points. We were playing well and we had a lot of people do a lot of good things. Our defense was really good early on. We slowed the tempo like we like to do and we ran when we had opportunities."
Miami defeated the Atlanta Hawks by six in their matchup on Friday at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta. Partial recap courtesy of NBA.COM:
LeBron James has figuratively come off the deck lots of times in his career. On Friday night he literally did so then keyed a gutsy effort by the Miami Heat in a 95-89 victory over the Atlanta Hawks Friday night at Philips Arena. James came up one assist short of a triple-double, scoring 21 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and handing out nine assists for the victorious Heat, who raised their record to 5-1 and got their six-game road trip off to a good start, despite playing without Dwyane Wade, who was sick and wasn't even at the arena. He may have done his grittiest work in the second half, as he shook off the effects of a knee-to-knee collision with Atlanta's Josh Smith late in the second quarter. With the score tied at 89, James made a smart pass to teammate Ray Allen for the go-ahead field goal with 1:22 left, then, with 13.6 seconds remaining, made his only basket of the fourth quarter, a 20-foot jumper over Hawks defender DeShawn Stevenson, that iced the game. James, shot 10-for-17 for the game, and while he only took seven shots in the second half (he made four of them), he handed out six assists, against only one turnover. Miami's supporting cast also showed up, as Chris Bosh put in a game-high 24 points and made a key block on an Al Horford alley-oop pass, while, off the bench, Allen added 17, on 6-for-12 shooting, 3-for-5 from three and Udonis Haslem added 10 rebounds. Point guard Jeff Teague had a 20-point, 11-assist double-double for Atlanta, which had its record evened at 2-2. Anthony Morrow also had a superb shooting game for the Hawks scoring a season-high 17. The game was close throughout, as there were 16 ties and 14 lead changes.
NBA CIRCLE - Miami Heat Vs Atlanta Hawks Highlights 9 November 2012 www.nbacircle.com (via NEWNBACIRCLE)
After the game, LeBron James spoke to the assorted media regarding his "near-injury" after a knee-on-knee collision with the Hawks Josh Smith:
"I was banged up at the end of the first half, but it was going to take a lot for me not to go out there and be with my teammates."
The Grizzlies dropped the Rockets in Houston by eight on Friday night. NBA.COM's partial recap:
Rudy Gay scored 21 points and Zach Randolph added 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies to their fourth straight win, 93-85, over the Rockets. The Grizzlies are 4-1, matching the best start in the franchise's history. In addition to getting strong play from their bench, the Grizzlies were able to limit the NBA's leading scorer, James Harden, to 18 points on 4-of-18 shooting. Harden entered the game averaging 30.3 points, but went 0-for-5 in the third quarter and 2-of-11 in the second half. "Tony Allen did a great job on him and kept him out of his rhythm," said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins. Allen deflected the credit, noting that several players took turns guarding Harden. "Unfortunately, I got into foul trouble," Allen said. The Grizzlies bench outscored the Rockets bench, 29-15, and was led by Jerryd Bayless, who had 12 points and three assists in 18 minutes. It was the Grizzlies' reserves that helped Memphis pull away early in the fourth quarter and survive a late Rockets' rally. Houston trimmed the lead to two points at 87-85 with 2:21 to play before Mike Conley drained a 3-pointer and Gay had a putback on successive possessions for a 92-85 advantage. "We are trying to create havoc and play faster," Bayless said of the bench's contributions. "So far, we are having a little success."
"I think our team is focused, I think our team is healthy."
Rockets vs. Grizzlies | Game Recap | NBA 2012-13 Season Nov 9, 2012 (via Jonathan Willms)
Game Time: 6:00 PM ET
Current Odds: Miami by -2
All-Time Series: 18-13
Season Series: 0-0
Standings Miami Heat: 5-1, first in the Southeast Division, tied for first in the Eastern Conference, tied for first in the NBA.
Last five: L-W-W-W-W.
Current odds of making the postseason: 88.6%
Standings Memphis Grizzlies: 4-1, second in the Southwest Division, tied for second in the Western Conference, tied for fourth in the NBA.
Current odds of making the postseason: 76.6%
Miami Heat: PG - Mario Chalmers SG - Dwyane Wade SF - Shane Battier PF - LeBron James CF - Chris Bos
Memphis Grizzlies: PG - Mike Conley SG - Tony Allen SF - Rudy Gay PF - Zach Randolph C - Marc Gasol
Heat Milestones: If Joel Anthony plays, he will tie Brian Grant in 12th on the all-time list with 312 games played. If Dwyane Wade sits out again, Udonis Haslem will tie him as the career leader in games played at 601. LeBron James will pass Rasual Butler and Bimbo Coles into 19th all-time with four three pointers, for 158 total. Joel Anthony needs 11 rebounds to pass Bimbo Coles into 19th, with 1,070. Chris Bosh needs four rebounds to pass Dan Majerle into 14th all-time tonight, with 1,138. Udonis Haslem has to collect 26 more rebounds to become the Heat's all-time leader, passing Alonzo Mourning with 4,808.
PPG: LeBron James, 22.2 Dwyane Wade, 20.4 Chris Bosh, 20.2 RPG: LeBron James, 10.0 Chris Bosh, 6.8 Udonis Haslem, 4.8
APG: LeBron James, 6.2 Mario Chalmers, 6.0 Dwyane Wade, 4.6 SPG: Mario Chalmers, 1.8 Dwyane Wade, 1.4 Chris Bosh, 1.3 BPG: Dwyane Wade, 1.4 Chris Bosh, 1.3 LeBron James, 0.8