Almost immediately the Grizzlies looked to exploit Whiteside’s absence as they penetrated the key three possessions in a row. Memphis looked hungry and energetic, but the Heat wouldn’t panic, even with Kelly Olynyk exiting early with foul trouble. With good effort from Waiters, Richardson and Bam, Miami regained momentum to get within one. Miami would steal the lead thanks to some stellar defense and work to maintain it. Dion was particularly impressive, as he came out aggressive and was a force on both defense and offense. As was Bam, whose athleticism was on full display as he created shots on offence as easily as he blocked them on defense. Miami would head into the second quarter down two.
In the second, Miami’s turnover issues started to rear their ugly head once again. Also, with Olynyk back in the game they were once again vulnerable in the paint. This caused issues as Tyreke Evans feasted. The second unit showed strange shot selection, as Tyler Johnson passed up looks and Justise Winslow took questionable shots. The Heat would make some adjustments allowing Goran to take charge of the offense. That translated into a 9-0 run for Miami with some great plays by Kelly and JRich. Still the Grizzlies stayed competitive and hung within striking distance. Miami would lead by 3 headed into the second half.
The Heat struggled to score in the early minutes of the third quarter. They also dealt with some silly mistakes that led to unnecessary fouls. Thankfully, they’d keep the game tied with the occasional bucket and points from the charity stripe. Needless to say, the first half of this quarter was incredibly slow.
Goran and Bam would get things moving again around the 6:30 mark. Though the Grizzlies would remain competitive, Miami would start to take control of the game following a beautiful Bam alley-oop. The Heat would go small and open up scoring opportunities for Ellington, James Johnson and Dragic. This would spark a 13-4 scoring run and allow the Heat to enter the fourth quarter up 10.
The Heat looked to put the Grizzlies away early in the fourth quarter as they opened things up in a full court press. Their defense was fantastic as they limited Memphis’ scoring attempts. The Heat also found success on offense with some key shots from Wayne Ellington and Tyler Johnson. Even Justise would get in on the fun with a three of his own. Justise’ shooting has noticeably improved as he’s scored a three in the last four games. Miami’s hot shooting would bring the lead to 16. Despite being scoreless for three quarters, Tyler Johnson would deliver in the fourth scoring 14 points.
The fight the Grizzlies displayed in the first three quarters vanished as Miami took complete advantage. Miami would continue their scoring barrages and bring in Udonis Haslem to put this one away and end the road trip on a win.