Fans were on their feet before the game even started when prodigal son Mike Miller made his first South Beach appearance since helping the Heat to their second straight title following last season. Miller hugged every Heat player and coach, along with Mickey Arison. It was a touching moment and a reminder that Miami was pretty good last year, too.
After a few missed shots for each team, Chris Bosh broke the seal on the scoreboard with a 16-footer from the left side. Buckets were then had by Mario Chalmers (a three), Dwyane Wade, and Greg Oden. The Grizzlies matched the Heat through the first six minutes of the game, 9-9. LeBron James scored his first basket a moment later, and Bosh connected from nearly the same spot as he had before in Miami's next trip down the floor. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies were threatening to pull away, leading the Heat 18-13 with three minutes left in the quarter. Ray Allen capped Miami's scoring with a layup, and the Heat trailed 22-15 after one.
Shane Battier and Ray Allen each scored layups to open the second, and Norris Cole scored high off the glass to keep the Heat close, at 29-22. Allen converted an unconventional four-point play, sinking a foul shot on a technical foul and a three pointer, and Udonis Haslem turned back the clock with a nifty driving layup to cut the Memphis lead down to three, at 31-28. On reflection, the officials called Allen's shot a two pointer, taking one from Miami's total. Wade made two foul shots soon thereafter, but Miami went cold again, and trailed 34-29 with six minutes left in the half. Chalmers sunk another three, followed by one from Bosh. Miami finally got back in front with a pair of foul shots by Chalmers. Allen had a cutting, driving layup a moment later to make it 43-40. James closed out the scoring with a short jumper for a 45-43 Heat lead at the half.
Bosh made a jumper for Miami, and Oden went toe to toe with Zach Randolph, blocking a shot attempt and forcing a jump ball, which he won. Meanwhile, Wade, Bosh, and James went on cold streaks. The three had combined to that point to go eight-for-22 form the field. Oden converted a three point play to make the score 54-52 with the bad guys on top. Memphis answered with an 10 point run for a game high 12-point lead. Wade broke the drought with a 14-foot jumper from the left side. Chalmers followed with a layup and Birdman collected a block, leading directly to a Cole three-pointer which cut the lead to five points. Miami then forced a 24-second violation, but only capitalized for one point, as Rio went one-of-two from the line. He made up for it with a bomb from deep the next time down, followed with a game-tying three from Allen, at 66. After a Kosta Koufos field goal, James missed a layup to close the quarter. Anderson caught the rebound and put it home at the buzzer and the two finished the quarter, 68-68.
James opened the fourth quarter with only eight points on the ledger, and for the first time in seven seasons was in danger of not finishing the contest in double figures. He put an end to that with a minute gone, with a layup to open the scoring. Wade sunk a very long two-pointer from the right side after the Grizz ran off six straight points to keep it close, 74-72. He drained another to tie it up with eight minutes left in regulation. After four points by Memphis, Andersen converted a nifty field goal when he collected a loose ball near the rim, getting fouled and making the freebie. Miami got close there, but watched their shots keep coming up short while Memphis started making theirs, pulling ahead 84-77 with four minutes left. Allen sparked the Heat with a three from the right side to cut the lead to four with three minutes remaining. James cut it to two with a layup, and the Heat then tied it with an inspired effort on the offensive end, with two missed shots and two offensive rebounds before Wade sunk a four footer. James stole the ball the next time down, resulting in a trip to the line for Wade and two more points. Miami 86-84 with 1:04 left. After a Grizzlies miss, James held the ball until there were 24 seconds left, and drained a straight on 21-footer for a four point lead. Miami let Michael Conley score an easy layup the next time down, and the Grizzlies started to play the fouling game - but the officials didn't blow the whistle. After a Miami time out, Allen was all alone all the way down the court, where Wade hit him with a 50-foot inbound laser and an easy layup with 14 seconds left.
- Ray Allen continued his great recent play by leading the Heat with 18 points on seven-of-14 shooting with four helpers, four boards, and two steals. He has looked younger than 38 pretty much all season, but is now playing MUCH younger. He looks like he could go another four years. If you were able to watch the game, then you know that this is not an exaggeration.
- After a slow start, James finished with 15 points with six rebounds and seven dimes. It's a "bad" night, and the guy still drains 50% of his shots and leads both teams in assists.
- Rio and Flash each scored 14, and Bosh also finished in double figures, with 11.
- Oden looked useful while on the floor, but somehow was the big plus/minus loser on the night, at minus-12.
- Miami played behind the eight-ball pretty much all night, but for the last four minutes looked like the team that we all know can go the distance in June.
Thanks for reading the recap. for Memphis' take on events, Grizzly Bear Blues has your tune. And keep it locked in here at HHH for all of your breaking Heat news.