Heat Check: Not enough support for Dwyane Wade in Memphis

BY foxsports • December 7, 2014

The Miami Heat again struggled down the stretch in a 103-87 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night.

It's the first time since 2011 that the Heat have lost four consecutive games, and it's becoming a familiar script by now, with their defense not good enough to limit opponents.

The Grizzlies shot well throughout the game, and their backcourt duo of Courtney Lee and Mike Conley combined for 35 points on 15-of-17 shooting, including 5 for 5 from 3-point range. Tony Allen was a force at the start of the game, as he scored at will around the rim and finished with 14 points and five rebounds. Though Marc Gasol struggled with just two points, he did contribute seven assists and six rebounds alongside fellow big man Zach Randolph, who was a force inside with 17 points and six rebounds.

Dwyane Wade had another strong first half with 15 points to help the Heat stay competitive to start the game by attacking the paint, but they soon fell behind by double digits after giving up a pair of 9-2 runs. Just as it's happened during their losing streak, there wasn't enough support for Wade. Miami suffered a below-average game from Chris Bosh, who scored 12 points, and reserve Mario Chalmers scored 12 of the bench's 19 points.

Offensively, the Heat started to stagnate after halftime leading up to a 12-point fourth quarter. With the Grizzlies able to score easily by the rim and some hot-shooting from their guards on the perimeter, the game quickly turned into a blowout.

The Heat's defense has now allowed their opponent to shoot 54 percent or better in four consecutive games for the first time in franchise history, according to Sun Sports.

THE TURNING POINT

Though it ended with 16-point losing margin, Miami had cut it to 82-79 early in the fourth quarter after a Wade dunk, but the home team responded with eight straight points to stretch their lead back to double digits.

THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

Grizzlies reserve Jon Leuer had his best game of the season with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting -- a huge increase from his 5.6 average this season -- along with equaling his career-high of 12 rebounds.

STAT OF THE GAME

Miami has now given up their highest field goal percentage for an opponent this season in each of their past two games. The Grizzlies shot 59 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from 3-point range.

WHAT'S NEXT

Miami's road trip continues when they play the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday at 9 p.m.

You can follow Surya Fernandez on Twitter @SuryaHeatNBA or email him at SuryaFoxSports@gmail.com.


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