February 28th, 2010. That's the last time the HEAT were two games or more below .500. That night, Miami visited the Rashard Lewis-led Orlando Magic. Despite closing the half down by only four points, the HEAT allowed the Magic to pull away, and eventually lost the game by 16, 96-to-80. This was despite Dwyane Wade's team-leading heroics - he scored 21 points with five rebounds and five assists.
Some things never change. Tonight's contest would see the now 32-year-old Wade continue to lead Miami, with 25 points on 11-of-20 shooting and six assists.
Miami lead by six points, 15-9 just four and a half minutes into it. McRoberts was looking good through the first quarter, with seven of his 14 points on a perfect three-for-three performance from the field, including one from deep. Wade and Luol Deng also each pitched in six points, as the HEAT was doubled in the rebounding department, with an alarming 12-to-6 showing. Udonis Haslem had three of them. Miami was looking good shooting at a 54.5% clip (12-for-22), but the Grizzlies (12-for-19) were shooting the lights out with a 63.2% success rate.
For Memphis, Tony Allen hit four-for-five for nine points, while Marc Gasol played all 12 minutes, and led the team in
rebounds assists. Wait, what? Yeah, Jon Leuer actually led the Grizz with four rebounds in only four minutes in the first, but Gasol did collect three, along with a surprising five assists and an equally surprising zero points. The quarter drew to a close with the HEAT looking at a 28-to-26 deficit.
The second quarter would see Wade score a game high nine points on four-of-six shooting, but he also turned the ball over three times. The Grizzlies would have three different players score seven points each. Zach Randolph, Courtney Lee, and Leuer each reached the mark, shooting a combined eight-for-12 from the field. Miami was again efficient but outshot, to the tune of 58.8% (on 10-of-17 shooting) against 61.1% (on 11-of-18 shooting). The Grizzlies entered the locker room with a seven-point lead, 55-to-48.
Each team put up 27 points in the third quarter. Chris Bosh and Deng played all 12 minutes, as did Memphis' Lee. Conley and Lee combined to go seven-of-seven from the field, scoring nine and eight points respectively. As in the first two quarters, Miami was outshot despite sinking over half of their field goal attempts. Miami hit 12-of-23 shots (52.2%), while the Grizzlies made 12-of-19 (63.2%). Deng scored seven for Miami, while Haslem, McRoberts and Deng had three boards apiece.
The fourth quarter is when the wheels really fell off for Miami. The team was well within striking distance until there was about four minutes left in the game. The team combined to shoot 27.8% from the field, going five-of-18 and scoring only 12 points. The final frame was also Memphis' least efficient period, and would see the team hit only eight-of-17 and score a game-low 21 points. Miami was outrebounded 13-to-eight.
Another look at the stats show that Miami earned assists on 53.8% of their field goals (21-for-39), and Memphis assisted 55.8% (24-for-43). Uncharacteristically, the HEAT beat Memphis in the paint, outscoring the Grizz 50-to-40 and earning 14 second-chance points to 12.
Jon Leuer should earn the first star for the game, with the only double-double of the contest. He ended up with 20 points and 12 rebounds in just under 24 minutes of game-play. The only things the same as (besides Wade) in that game four and a half years ago were Haslem and Mario Chalmers. Haslem had no points and eight rebounds last night, and Chalmers scored 12 points with four steals.