The Grizzlies earned a startling road win on Friday by downing the Miami Heat, 97-82. They put the Heat away early, mounting a 13-point lead less than 10 minutes into the game, and keeping the lead in double digits the rest of the way.
They led the Heat wire-to-wire, something no opponent had done to Miami since the Boston Celtics on Nov. 11, 2010.
Memphis amazed in the win. They hit shots from three-point land, something the 23rd-ranked three-point shooting team seldom does. Also, the Grizzlies won the rebounding battle, which they typically don't do on the road. Then again, it was against a Heat team that is weak at center.
This was a special sight from a Grizzlies team that entered the game 4-11 against .500 teams on the road.
Similarly, it was strange to see such a poor home showing from Miami, which is 23-3 at home and hadn't lost at home since January.
Follow along for a few reasons why the Grizzlies took down the Heat.
The Grizzlies did their handy work on the Heat early in the game. They ran out to a 21-8 lead by the 2:24 mark in the first quarter and didn’t look back. The Heat couldn’t help themselves, turning the ball over 10 times in the first quarter, while scoring only 12 points.
After that, the Grizzlies didn’t let the Heat back in the game. Memphis led by at least 10 points for the final three quarters. After the Heat outscored the Grizzlies 29-24 in the third quarter, the Grizzlies hushed any notion of a comeback by hovering around a 20-point lead for most of the fourth quarter.
It was a happy sight, especially after the Grizzlies let the Dallas Mavericks blow by them with a 21-4 run in the fourth quarter to give the game away on Wednesday.
Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph did a terrific job rebounding. Gasol had five rebounds in the first quarter and finished with nine. Randolph had 14 boards in 30 minutes, one of his most active outings since returning from injury. At that, Randolph had his highest rebounding total since returning in mid-March.
Grizzlies fans have to be happy to see Randolph active on the boards and putting in a good 30-minute effort.
Gasol, who had been quiet on the boards lately, made one of his better rebounding performances in the last two weeks.
Gasol and Randolph led a solid team rebounding effort by the Grizzlies. They outrebounded the Heat 26 to 13 in the first half and 42 to 39 overall. Dante Cunningham had four rebounds in only 10 minutes. Marreese Speights added six boards.
Something got into the Grizzlies on Friday, and that something was Gilbert Arenas’ downtown magic. Arenas led a great team effort for the Grizzlies from three-point range—a rare sight for a team that ranked 27th in the category before acquiring Arenas.
They shot 8-of-17 from three-point range.
Arenas led the way with four three-pointers made. Mike Conley hit three of his four three-point shots.
The Grizzlies aren’t much of a scoring team. They only score 95 points per game. On the road, they’re dismal offensively, averaging 91.8 points per game and shooting 43.7 percent from the field.
The Memphis shots fell wonderfully on Friday night in Miami. Rudy Gay was hot early, scoring nine points in the first quarter, en route to 17 on the game. Mike Conley scored 17 as well. Marreese Speights put up 11 on 5-of-8 shooting in only 21 minutes.
As a team, they shot 46 percent from the field.
To see the Grizzlies, a team that scores just enough while getting by on defense, score 97 on the road is wonderful.