NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 21st
(All times Eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (40-27) at Miami Heat (46-20), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat will try to get back in the win column on
Friday night when they welcome the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies to
The Heat had a two-game winning streak come to an end Wednesday night with a
101-96 road loss to the Boston Celtics. Four-time MVP LeBron James sat out
with back spasms, but he is listed as probable for Friday night.
Rajon Rondo nearly recorded a triple-double for the Celtics and the Heat are
still in something of a tailspin. Miami is 3-6 in its last nine and three
behind the Indiana Pacers for Eastern Conference supremacy.
With James shelved, Dwyane Wade led the way for the Heat with 17 points. Chris
Andersen scored 16 points with eight rebounds off the bench and Udonis Haslem
and Ray Allen contributed 14 points each for Miami.
Jeff Green broke a 92-92 tie with a 3-pointer before Rondo made a runner to
push the lead to five with 1:44 remaining. Wade made a putback layup for Miami
at the other end, but another Rondo jumper with 18.7 seconds left sealed it
for the hosts.
"They (Celtics) started to get on a roll in that second half and get some open
jump shots on their pick and roll game," said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.
"Our execution down the stretch was not where it has been, particularly the
last four minutes."
The Grizzlies have won two in a row and six of their last seven to surge up
the Western Conference standings. They are tied for the seventh seed with the
Dallas Mavericks and both teams are 1 1/2 ahead of the Phoenix Suns.
Memphis' second consecutive victory came Wednesday night with a 96-86 home win
over the Utah Jazz.
Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol combined for 41 points and 21 rebounds. Randolph
had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Gasol went for 20 and 10 for the Grizzlies,
while Mike Conley added 18.
The Jazz, after trailing by as many as 18 in the second quarter, tied the
score at 84-84 on Burks' layup in the fourth. But they only scored one more
time in the last 5:38 -- on an Enes Kanter dunk.
"We lacked focus coming out of halftime and they were very aggressive," said
Memphis coach Dave Joerger. "We made a little change in our coverages and did
a good job of getting up on shooters."
The Grizzlies, who are 27-10 since Jan. 1, have won three of their last four
on the road and are 19-13 as the visitor this season. Things don't get easier
for Memphis when it returns home to host the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.
Memphis and Miami split last season's two matchups with the home team
prevailing. Memphis has lost three of its last five visits to South Beach.
03/21 10:22:40 ET