4:00 PM ET, December 14, 2008
FedExForum, Memphis, TN
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Grizzlies' youth movement is starting to show results.
"As long as we play together, open it up for each other making an extra pass, a screen to get your teammate open, then I feel it makes the game a lot easier for us," Mayo said.
Memphis' winning streak is its longest since the five games of the 2005-06 season. Darko Milicic matched his season high with 13 points, and reserve Mike Conley had 12 for the Grizzlies, who at times have started three rookies -- Mayo, Marc Gasol and Darrell Arthur. Eight of Memphis' 14 players are 23 or younger.
"After we've gotten a couple of wins and seen that playing team basketball really gets you wins, guys are really working on it," Conley said. "Making sure that they're making the extra pass and guys are getting open looks."
Memphis has scored at least 100 points in all four wins during the run and has turned up the defensive pressure. On Sunday, the Miami star Dwyane Wade was 5-of-16 from the field and the Heat shot 36 percent.
Wade finished with 17 points in his second straight subpar game for the All-Star, who entered Sunday's game averaging an NBA-best 29.1 points. Wade was 9-of-24 in the Heat's loss to Atlanta on Friday night.
"I'm still trying to find my mojo," Beasley said. "I'm trying to get my [swagger] back. We have to get it right on both ends. Defense is way harder than offense. You can knock a couple of shots down, but you have to get right back on defense."
Memphis shot 65 percent in the third and closed the quarter with a 12-2 run to take a 15-point lead at 81-66 lead. Mayo had a big 3-pointer as the shot clock ran out and Gay had a steal and a dunk in the surge.
"The key to the game was getting a cushion and having a breakout third quarter," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "That gave us confidence. I thought we built on that confidence, and once again held a team to 20 points in the fourth quarter."
Actually Memphis held the Heat to 20 points in both the third and the fourth, outscoring Miami 35-20 in the pivotal third. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra pointed to his team's lack of defense as the difference.
"Everything started to go wrong in the third quarter," Spoelstra said. "We've absolutely gotten away from out identity defensively. Everything right now is about what's going on offensively. [The Grizzlies] just blew the doors off in the third quarter. Thirty-five points, that's not us."
Heat G Mario Chalmers, a rookie from Kansas, was booed in the pregame introductions. Chalmers' 3-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation sent April's national championship game against the University of Memphis into overtime. The Jayhawks won 75-68. Chalmers had a four-point play early in the third quarter. In the last two games, the top three draft picks have made it through the FedExForum. Derrick Rose, the top pick, played Friday night when the Chicago Bulls faced No. 3 pick Mayo and the Grizzlies. Sunday, Beasley, the No. 2 pick, was in town. ... Grizzlies F Darius Miles, signed Saturday, was on the active roster, but not in the arena because he must serve a 10-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy by testing positive for a banned weight-loss stimulant. Grizzlies officials said he must be shown as active for the first five games of the suspension, then can appear as inactive until he is eligible to play on Jan. 4. ... Beasley was back after missing Friday's game against Atlanta with the flu. Miami G Daequan Cook also was suffering from the flu, but played. ... Jamaal Magloire was ejected with 3:11 left for head-butting Milicic as they fought for position as the Grizzlies prepared to inbound the ball. The 35 third-quarter points were the most by the Grizzlies in any period this season.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||32-88 (.364)||34-73 (.466)|
|3PM-3PA||8-26 (.308)||8-13 (.615)|
|FTM-FTA||14-18 (.778)||26-31 (.839)|
|Fast Break Points||2||14|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (2/0)||17 (0/0)|