Miami Heat at Memphis Grizzlies game preview
The Memphis Grizzlies will no doubt enjoy being the more rested club Tuesday night when they look to split their season series with the Miami Heat.
This matchup pits the teams that have played the most and fewest such sets, with the Heat traveling to Memphis on the heels of a disappointing loss.
Due to the vagaries of the NBA schedule, Memphis (17-16) has played the most back-to-back sets with 10 to this point. The Grizzlies won’t have to worry about that this time since they beat the Los Angeles Lakers 112-96 on Sunday.
Miami (18-12) will complete its fourth such set, which will match Charlotte and Chicago for the fewest.
The Heat fell 111-105 at home to Brooklyn on Monday. Chris Bosh made all five 3-pointers for 24 points and 12 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 24 and Hassan Whiteside had 18 points and 11 boards, but Miami allowed 27 second-chance points on 16 offensive rebounds and 12 3-pointers.
Wade was critical of the Heat’s season to date.
"Thirty games together. We ain’t figured it out yet," Wade said. "We haven’t played together long enough to figure it out. Either this is going to be our season like this, either we’re going to figure it out or we’re not.
"We’re a good team. If we’re satisfied with being a good team, then we’ll keep playing like this throughout the year. If we want to be a great team, then we’ll put it together. There’s only one way to find out. About 52 games away from that."
The Grizzlies should be extra fresh since Sunday’s game against the Western Conference’s worst team amounted to an organized scrimmage. Mike Conley scored 19 points in 24 minutes and Zach Randolph had 16 in 20 as Memphis shot 56.3 percent.
"I thought it was a good team victory," coach Dave Joerger said. "I thought we played with a lot of passion and a lot of emotion."
Memphis will try to win a fifth straight home meeting with Miami and avenge a 100-97 defeat Dec. 13. The Grizzlies blew a 16-point, third-quarter lead as the Heat scored the game’s final 11 points in the last 2:34.
Wade made the go-ahead jumper with 22 seconds left as part of a 14-point effort. Bosh led Miami with 22 points.
Jeff Green scored 26 points and Matt Barnes added 13 and 13 rebounds for Memphis.
Barnes won’t be available for the rematch since he is serving a two-game suspension. It’s for a "physical altercation" with Derek Fisher for "threatening" the New York Knicks coach in an incident in October.
Miami’s 9-1 record against West foes is the East’s best mark.
The comeback victory marked the first matchup between these clubs since their four-player deal Nov. 10, in which Mario Chalmers and James Ennis were sent to Memphis for Beno Udrih and Jarnell Stokes. Chalmers scored 12 points in his return to Miami.
The Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol leads the NBA with an average of 12.9 elbow touches while Bosh entered Monday among the league’s best at 7.8. Bosh is averaging 25.4 points on 53.9 percent shooting in his last five games.
Heat rookie Justise Winslow missed his first game Monday with an ankle injury.