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Winslow scores 26, leads Heat over Grizzlies 112-108

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Winslow shot 10-of-16 from the field, including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

With nine seconds left, the Miami Heat were nursing a 110-108 lead over the Memphis Grizzlies. Miami needed a stop to emerge with a victory. Shelvin Mack drove down the baseline against Dwyane Wade, and the 36-year-old Wade blocked the potential game-tying layup attempt from Mack. The official called a jump-ball with four seconds left.

Wade won the jump-ball, tapping the ball to Josh Richardson. With the Grizzlies forced into a fouling mode, Richardson hit both free throws to ice the game and give the Heat a 112-108 victory. Miami improved to 21-20 on the season.

This game represented another leap forward for Justise Winslow. The fourth-year Heat player recorded the highest-scoring half of his career, as he scored 18 of his 26 points in the first half. Winslow started the game draining two 3-pointers and never stopped from there. He rose with confidence on mid-range shots and drives to the basket. The difference between Winslow offensively from this year to last is nothing shy of night and day.

In addition to his 26 points, Winslow also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out four assists. If there was one thing to critique, it was that Erik Spoelstra only played him 33 minutes. Spoelstra kept Winslow on the bench for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, when Memphis made a run to cut the Heat’s lead.

This was a game of runs, as both teams built double-digit leads throughout the game. The Grizzlies started the game well, jumping out to an early 12-point lead. The Heat then responded and eventually built a lead that crested at 13 in the third quarter. And then the Grizzlies responded early in the fourth period to turn it into a nail-biter.

As they did in their blowout victory over the Boston Celtics Thursday night, the Heat made good use of the 3-point shot. Miami knocked down 15 3s on 31 attempts, including a couple big ones. Tyler Johnson hit a long 3 on a broken play midway through the fourth quarter just as the game got tighter. Wade also made a 3-pointer to at the buzzer to end the first half.

Hassan Whiteside missed the game due to an illness, so Bam Adebayo started and finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds in 37 minutes. Adebayo had some good moments, like this play when he fronted Marc Gasol and took the ball all the way to the basket for a score.

With Whiteside out, Spoelstra played Derrick Jones Jr. as the backup power forward to James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk as the backup center. Olynyk added 13 points for the Heat, including two shots from downtown.

Spoelstra will need to continue to adjust his rotation, though. James Johnson and Rodney McGruder only played four first-half minutes, and Johnson had some aggressive drives to the basket in the third quarter. (We may see Rodney McGruder go from starter to out of the rotation soon.) And Dion Waiters should not have gotten all those early fourth-quarter minutes over Winslow and Josh Richardson.

Miami will start a four-game road trip Tuesday at the Milwaukee Bucks.