Grizzlies finish on top of Miami, 118-90
By TIM REYNOLDS,
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) Rudy Gay scored a career-high 41 points, Marc Gasol made all seven of his shots on the way to a 16-point, 15-rebound effort, and the Memphis Grizzlies enjoyed a rare road blowout by beating Miami Heat 118-90 on Sunday night.
Gay made 15 of 28 shots, topping his previous career best by five points, and became just the fourth player since January 2007 to score at least 40 against Miami in a regular-season game. Jamal Crawford (40) did so on Dec. 1, 2008, while LeBron James (42) and Ben Gordon (43) each accomplished the feat last March.
Memphis also got 16 points from O.J. Mayo and 13 from Zach Randolph.
Dwyane Wade scored 25 points for Miami, 6-7 at home and losers in six of its last eight overall.
It was just the 20th win in 95 road games for Memphis dating to the start of the 2007-08 season. Of those, only one was by more than 20 points, a 118-95 cakewalk past the Los Angeles Clippers back March 4.
This one, was never in doubt.
Memphis had won only three times away from home all season, by a total of 17 points. The 28-point win Sunday was the largest for the Grizzlies since a 109-80 win over Minnesota on Dec. 1, 2007.
Gay got rolling quickly, shooting 5 of 9 from the floor in the first 12 minutes on a combination of everything from reverse lay-ups in transition to fallaway jumpers. And as the game went on, he scored at will – swinging on the rim after dunks and drawing some Heat ire for it, taking half-court alley-oop lobs and even connecting on three 3-pointers in the third, when Memphis blew the game wide open.
The Grizzlies built a 15-point lead in the first quarter, took a 62-49 lead into the half and outscored Miami by 13 in the third to take a 93-67 lead into the final 12 minutes.
If the Heat had a white flag, it would have been waved.
Miami opened the fourth quarter by sending James Jones, Carlos Arroyo, Joel Anthony, Daequan Cook and Udonis Haslem onto the court. Only Haslem had logged more than 6 minutes during the opening three quarters.
Miami has allowed opponents to score at least 100 points in six straight games for the first time since Dec. 17-27, 2004. Back then, it wasn’t a problem – that Heat team somehow went 6-0 during that stretch.
This Heat team has gone 2-4, falling to 11-11 on the season and already 5 1/2 games behind Orlando in the Southeast Division. And it doesn’t get any easier for Miami over the rest of this six-game homestand, with Toronto, Orlando, Portland and Utah set to visit in the coming days.
From the opening tap, Memphis seized control. Perhaps the best testament of the Grizzlies’ aggressiveness came from the fact that Memphis shot 17 free throws in the first 11 minutes, while the Heat hadn’t shot a single one.
“It’s 16-zip, John,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra pleaded at one point with official John Goble, to no avail.
The Heat led only twice, at 2-0 and 4-2 after Wade posted up Mayo and scored with ease on Miami’s first two possessions. After that, absolutely nothing worked for Miami, which got outrebounded 49-26.
Gasol had his ninth double-double of the season wrapped up by halftime, getting 12 points and 11 rebounds before the break.
NOTES: The Heat are 9-1 when leading at halftime, 2-10 when not. … Memphis’ 17 free-throw attempts in the opening quarter were the most against Miami in any period this season. … Midway through the third quarter, the Heat had a total of 18 rebounds. Gasol already had 15. … Gasol had his ninth double-double of the season wrapped up by halftime, getting 12 points and 11 rebounds before the break.
Updated December 13, 2009