7:30 PM ET, October 21, 2009
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Don't tell the Miami Heat veterans that this was a meaningless preseason game.
Wade scored 35 points in 29 1/2 minutes, Haslem finished with 17 and Heat overcame an early 18-point deficit in beating the Memphis Grizzlies 99-93 Wednesday night. The Heat (2-4) trailed 43-25 early, scored 35 of the game's next 52 points and eventually held on.
"I was just trying to get a win, and I wanted to be aggressive, just to get my rhythm," Wade said.
"We got off to a good start, we played well, we were focused, and our defense was good," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "We moved the basketball and we started subbing and we didn't get the same play from our bench."
Wade, the reigning NBA scoring champion, seemed in midseason form.
Nursing a one-point lead with 40 seconds remaining, Wade dribbled against Memphis rookie DeMarre Carroll, waiting to pounce. With the shot clock running down, Wade did his patented pull-up, head-fake, draw-contact and shoot move, his jumper from the left side of the key rattling in. The free throw made it 97-93.
"I had to use my veteran-ness at that moment," Wade said. "He was a young buck, so I know how it is. When you're young, you're excited. So, got him."
Said Mayo: "Defensively, DeMarre learned things tonight."
Memphis had one last chance, but Haslem threw himself on the floor for a loose ball and lobbed it from his knees ahead to Wade, who scored to ice the win.
"That's the essence of everything we want a Miami Heat player to embody," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "The name across the jersey, Miami Heat, that's what it's all about, that play Udonis made. That's who he is and that's who we want the Miami Heat to be as well."
Miami was without Michael Beasley, sidelined with shoulder and thumb ailments that won't keep him out of the Oct. 28 opener against the New York Knicks. The Grizzlies didn't have Allen Iverson (left hamstring) and Darrell Arthur (right pectoral) on the trip.
Getting into a huge early hole -- Miami trailed 24-7 by the midway mark of the opening period, with at least four of its presumed opening-night starters on the floor -- wasn't exactly what Spoelstra wanted to see.
But the defense came around. Memphis made 15 of its first 30 shots, then connected on 19 of 53 the rest of the way, 35.8 percent.
Mayo missed 9 of his first 12 shots, then hit a straightaway 3-pointer with 3:28 left to get the Grizzlies within 91-86. Hasheem Thabeet grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it in with 52.9 seconds left -- the only field goal in 11 minutes for the 7-foot-3, 267-pounder -- cutting Miami's lead to 94-93.
They wouldn't score again.
"It's good to get a win and show that we have some resolve, that even if we bend, we don't break," Haslem said.
Memphis simply dominated the opening quarter, slicing into the paint for easy scores and outrebounding Miami 18-8. The Grizzlies just couldn't maintain the pace.
Wade's turnaround jumper from the left corner pulled Miami into a 60-60 tie with 9:27 left in the third, and Daequan Cook's banked-in runner with 1.5 seconds left in the period pushed the Heat lead to 79-71.
Another plus for the Heat: Their new backup point guard seems to be fitting in nicely.
Carlos Arroyo, who played his college basketball in Miami at FIU and kept a home in South Florida, finished with eight points and four assists in 26 minutes in his "home" debut. The Heat signed him last week to a non-guaranteed 1-year deal.
Gay, reacting when Wade fouled him just before what would have been a dunk attempt with 10:28 left in third quarter, said "It's preseason," gently chiding his buddy. ... Miami ends the preseason in Jacksonville, Fla. on Thursday against Atlanta. ... Memphis' preseason finale is in Charlotte on Friday -- with an always-enjoyed 10:30 a.m. tip-off. ... Beasley will travel for Thursday's game and wants to play, Spoelstra said. Chris Quinn (ankle) also sat out for the Heat.