Memphis dominated the fourth quarter to turn a close game into a blowout, building a lead that crested at 19 points in a 124-112 final score. The loss dropped Miami to just one game above .500.
With 53.8 seconds left in the third quarter, Goran Dragic drained a 3-pointer to pull the Heat to within 91-89. But Dillon Brooks was cooking Miami in what would become a 23-point third quarter — tying a record set by Jamal Crawford when he scored 50 against the Heat. Brooks drove right to the rim to put Memphis up 93-89. And on Memphis’ next possession, he found an open Tyus Jones in the corner for a 3.
The Grizzlies went into the fourth quarter up seven, but a Xavier Tillman putback with 9:54 left pushed the lead to 11. Less than two minutes later, Bam Adebayo was called for a goaltend on a Desmond Bane layup to increase the lead to 15. Jimmy Butler came into the game after taking his rest to start the fourth, but it didn’t matter. By the 5:44 mark, Memphis took a 116-99 lead.
Tuesday night represented a disappointing defensive effort from Miami. Jonas Valanciunas easily scored on smaller defenders early on, going for 15 points in the first quarter. Too many Grizzlies took easy trips into the lane, even against good defenders like Butler and Victor Oladipo. Having one player score 15 in a quarter and another go for 23 in a quarter isn’t a recipe for success.
Butler shook off a slow start to finish with 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field, five assists and three steals. He did a lot of damage as a roller, getting a three-point play opportunity here.
While Dillon Brooks is hearing Jimi, Miami has been working Butler as the roll man which might be one of their more hidden of hidden weapons. pic.twitter.com/kFQ52jwprO— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) April 7, 2021
Adebayo added a triple-double for Miami — 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists on the night. Adebayo started off the game well, making his first five shots and easily sticking the jumper after Valanciunas gave him space. But he missed all three of his free-throw attempts — and the Heat together shot just 11-of-18 from the charity stripe.
Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson each shot 4-of-7 from downtown. Victor Oladipo looked better than he had in previous games, making a few nice drives to the basket to score 16 points on the night. (Oladipo lost the ball on a couple possessions after driving to the rim, a potential area of concern.)
The Heat dished out an impressive 34 assists on the night. By and large, offense wasn’t the issue — though it would’ve been nice to have more than zero made 3-pointers among Trevor Ariza, Nemanja Bjelica and Andre Iguodala. The offense was just too easy for the Grizzlies — in the half-court, on second-chance opportunities, in the fast-break.
Miami will host the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.