HEAT stopped at home by Gay, Grizzlies

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.

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.

Now? Problem.

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