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Grizzlies snap Miami’s 17-game home streak, 97-82
MIAMI (AP) - Dwyane Wade knew during pregame warmups that the Miami Heat were going to have a long night. By the end of the first quarter, the Memphis Grizzlies let everyone else know that Wade was right.
Rudy Gay scored 17 points, Zach Randolph had 14 points and 14 rebounds off the bench, and the Grizzlies put seven players in double figures to snap Miami’s 17-game home winning streak by beating the Heat 97-82 on Friday night.
Memphis led wire-to-wire, the first team to do that on Miami’s home floor since Boston on Nov. 11, 2010.
“A great team win from the beginning to the end,” said Memphis guard Gilbert Arenas, who scored 12 points. “We played hard. We outplayed them. They missed shots they normally make but we were there for every single one of them.”
LeBron James finished with 21 points, six assists and six rebounds for the Heat, who failed in a bid to match the franchise’s longest home win streak, set in the 2004-05 season. Miami committed 11 turnovers in the first quarter _ its most in any period since Feb. 14, 2006 _ and never recovered.
“When we turn the ball over, we’re not that good,” James said. “We understand that. We know that. We don’t care when we have attack turnovers, guys getting into the lane and trying to make plays for others and make a turnover. We had a few careless ones. We had easy layups, a few crosscourt passes. Just careless.”
Miami (39-15) fell three games behind Chicago (43-13) in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Heat have 12 games left, the Bulls have 10, and the teams go head-to-head twice more before the postseason begins.
“They just beat us,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Really, the tale was that first quarter. … The lack of concentration and focus in that first quarter, we couldn’t make up for that.”
The Heat struggled shooting the ball again, finishing at 40 percent.
It was the second time in two weeks that Memphis got seven players into double figures. Another good sign for the Grizzlies: Arenas had been 3 for 13 from 3-point range in his first six games with Memphis, but was 4 for 5 on Friday.
Memphis came into the night only two games out of fourth in the Western Conference, and coach Lionel Hollins talked beforehand about the importance of getting sharper heading into the postseason.
His team must have listened, because it came out flying.
“The first time I looked up at the scoreboard we were up 15 points,” Hollins said. “We were playing well and we had a lot of people do a lot of good things.”
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