Beasley leads short-handed Heat
Without Dwyane Wade, Michael Beasley stepped into a lead role for
Miami, and the Heat kept their winning streak intact.
Beasley scored a career-high with 30 points and the short-handed Heat won their season-best fifth straight by defeating the Memphis Grizzlies, 100-87, in double overtime on Friday night.
The Heat, playing without Wade (strained calf) and Rafer Alston (right hand), blew an 18-point lead in regulation, then pulled away in the second overtime behind Udonis Haslem, who scored eight points in the final five minutes.
"It feels good," Beasley said. "Just to get a win without our main players feels good to everybody."
Jermaine O'Neal finished with 18 for the Heat before fouling out in the first overtime. Mario Chalmers, who was playing his first game since injuring his left thumb in late January, also had 18 points.
"When you are up during the game or down, regulation or overtime, you have to have some mental (toughness). Just stay in the moment," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "The guys did a good job of doing that. Every guy that played had an impact on the game."
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 22 points, and O.J. Mayo had 17. Zach Randolph scored 16 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. Rudy Gay had 15 points, but was 6-of-19 from the field.
The teams ended regulation tied at 76 after O'Neal misfired on an 11-footer as the fourth quarter expired. Beasley's jumper from the corner at the end of the first overtime left the game tied at 85.
"Once we got to the second overtime, we were buzz-killed," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "That was more of what led to the loss than just (Miami) making shots and us having turnovers. We had no more left in our tank."
Carlos Arroyo (10 points and six assists) and Daequan Cook (three points and 1-for-7 shooting) started in place of Alston and Wade.
It was the second straight overtime game for Memphis, which won, 109-102, in overtime at Toronto on Wednesday night.
Miami built the lead to as many as 18 in the first half, and still held an 11-point advantage with 6:26 left in regulation. But Memphis scored 11 straight points to pull even at 72 when Randolph scored on a dunk with 3:27 left.
Memphis completed the rally when Mike Conley scored in the lane with 34.4 left for a 76-74 lead. Beasley's 11-footer about 10 seconds later forced the first overtime.
From there, the teams played even until the second overtime. Beasley scored the first basket to give the Heat the lead, then Haslem scored the next eight Miami points to provide the Heat some cushion.
"It was just taking advantage of my opportunities," Haslem said. "You've got to stay in the game, stay in the moment, and when your opportunity comes and your number's called, you've got to embrace the moment and take advantage of it."
Spoelstra said Beasley, knowing Wade was out, took advantage of more opportunities.
"His body language out there is great," the Miami coach said. "He's being aggressive at trying to get the ball and getting into spots where he can be effective."
The Heat's zone defense caused poor shooting for Memphis early. The Grizzlies missed 10 of their first 11 shots as Miami defenders took away Memphis' interior game.
"I ain't never seen a team play zone the whole game," Randolph said. "This is the NBA. But we couldn't hit shots, and we didn't penetrate the zone."
Memphis scored 14 points in the first quarter, its worst first quarter of the season.
Miami was up 46-31 lead at the break behind Beasley's 16 points.
As poorly as Memphis shot in the first half, the fortunes changed to open the second. The Grizzlies hit their first five shots and cut into the Miami lead with 13 straight points.
Randolph's three-pointer near the end of the third would cut the Miami lead to 63-57 heading into the final quarter.
NOTES: Wade had played in 55 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in his career. He played in 66 straight in the 2008-09 season. Wade's streak of 148 consecutive games in double figures ended when he left in the first quarter of the Nets game. ... Ronnie Brewer, acquired by Memphis in a deadline trade with Utah, is wearing No. 9, the same number he had with the Jazz. But Brewer left the game in the third quarter with a right hamstring strain. ... Conley had 19 assists without a turnover in the previous two games, but had a turnover in the first quarter.