"Yo Mike, you realize that Mario Chalmers is starting over you, right?"
When this one got underway, it had the feel of a game that was going to be quite entertaining. Both teams came out putting points on the board and matching each other blow for blow. Miami hit their first 5 shots and after going up 8-6 they wouldn't trail again for the rest of the quarter. About 4 minutes into the game D-Wade put on a hell of a show.
He started it off by putting the Heat up 10-8 with a long jumper, then in the span of less then a minute D-Wade blocked three Grizzlies shots. LeBron sprinkled in a block as well so when all was said and done, Memphis had 4 consecutive shots blocked by Miami. That sparked a 9-2 run by the Heat which gave them their first little cushion, something that they would build on as the half went by.
LeBron scored the final 9 points of the quarter for Miami who took a 6-point lead after 12 minutes. The Heat dominated the 2nd quarter, as they did a great job of spreading the ball around and getting everyone involved. An 8-2 run would put Miami up by 10, then after a Memphis bucket the Heat would go on a 12-1 run that put them up by 18 at the break.
That basket by the Grizzlies I mentioned was a Zach Randolph jumper with 5:20 left in the 2nd quarter, and it would be the last field goal they made in the half. While Miami was dominating the game, I was wary of the fact that many times this year the Heat had been in a similar position only to see their opposition come back on them, so I was hoping they would keep up the intensity when the 2nd half began.
I was a little worried when the Grizz scored the first 4 points after halftime, but Miami quickly eased my distress with a 15-2 run that ballooned their lead to 27. Late in the 3rd quarter the Heat went through their first lapse of the game, going almost 4 minutes without a field goal, but Memphis could only muster up 6 points and by the end of the quarter the Heat were still up by 24.
Miami was able to empty their bench during the 4th quarter, and every single Heat player that was dressed not only got into the game, but got onto the scoresheet as well. Of the 12 different players that scored points for Miami, 11 made field goals, as Joel Anthony didn't attempt a shot but did find his way to the free-throw line. As a whole the Heat bench was solid, and that would be true even without the 17 points from Mike Bibby.
Bibby had his breakout game for the Heat, scoring 17 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting, all from downtown. He also collected 2 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal in 25 minutes off the bench. What I liked about Bibby's game was how nice it was to see a Miami point guard portraying such confidence. We knew when signing him that we were getting a solid outside shooter, but its been a while since the Heat have had someone running the point with this kind of veteran leadership.
- The Heat blocked 7 shots in the 1st, tying a franchise record for blocks in a quarter. They finished with 11 on the game, a season-high.
- The Big 3 combined for 73 of Miami's 118 points.
- The Heat shot 58.0% from the field while holding the Grizzlies to 39.3%.
- Memphis missed their last 10 field goals of the 1st half.
- The 33-point margin of victory was the largest of the season for Miami.
- The Heat outscored Memphis 36-3 from downtown, as Miami shot 12-of-19 (63.2%) from beyond the arc.
- 7 of the Heat's 12 triples were made by bench players.
- Even when getting blown out the Grizzlies still were able to do what they do best; score in the paint. 42 of their 85 points came in the painted area.
- In his last 3 games, Mike Bibby has taken all his shots from 3-point range. He's gone 9-for-12 (75.0%) in those 3 games.
The Heat now has some momentum heading into Monday night's matchup against the NBA leading San Antonio Spurs. That should be a really good one...and as you probably guessed, it's going to be nationally televised.