MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Grizzlies' youth movement is starting
to show results.
Memphis won its fourth straight game Sunday, beating the Miami
Heat 102-86. Rookie O.J. Mayo had 28 points, and Rudy Gay added 18.
"As long as we play together, open it up for each other making
an extra pass, a screen to get your teammate open, then I feel it
makes the game a lot easier for us," Mayo said.
Memphis' winning streak is its longest since the five games of
the 2005-06 season. Darko Milicic matched his season high with 13
points, and reserve Mike Conley had 12 for the Grizzlies, who at
times have started three rookies - Mayo, Marc Gasol and Darrell
Arthur. Eight of Memphis' 14 players are 23 or younger.
"After we've gotten a couple of wins and seen that playing team
basketball really gets you wins, guys are really working on it,"
Conley said. "Making sure that they're making the extra pass and
guys are getting open looks."
Memphis has scored at least 100 points in all four wins during
the run and has turned up the defensive pressure. On Sunday, the
Miami star Dwyane Wade was 5-of-16 from the field and the Heat shot
Wade finished with 17 points in his second straight subpar game
for the All-Star, who entered Sunday's game averaging an NBA-best
29.1 points. Wade was 9-of-24 in the Heat's loss to Atlanta on
Michael Beasley led Miami with 20 points, and Joel Anthony had
12 points and 13 rebounds for his first double-double of the
"I'm still trying to find my mojo," Beasley said. "I'm trying
to get my (swagger) back. We have to get it right on both ends.
Defense is way harder than offense. You can knock a couple of shots
down, but you have to get right back on defense."
Memphis shot 65 percent in the third and closed the quarter with
a 12-2 run to take a 15-point lead at 81-66 lead. Mayo had a big
3-pointer as the shot clock ran out and Gay had a steal and a dunk
in the surge.
"The key to the game was getting a cushion and having a
breakout third quarter," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "That
gave us confidence. I thought we built on that confidence, and once
again held a team to 20 points in the fourth quarter."
Actually Memphis held the Heat to 20 points in both the third
and the fourth, outscoring Miami 35-20 in the pivotal third. Heat
coach Erik Spoelstra pointed to his team's lack of defense as the
"Everything started to go wrong in the third quarter,"
Spoelstra said. "We've absolutely gotten away from out identity
defensively. Everything right now is about what's going on
offensively. (The Grizzlies) just blew the doors off in the third
quarter. Thirty-five points, that's not us."
Miami was without forward Udonis Haslem, who missed the game due
to the death of his grandmother. Yakhouba Diawara started in
Haslem's place, and had six points.
Notes: Heat G Mario Chalmers, a rookie from Kansas, was booed in
the pregame introductions. Chalmers' 3-pointer in the closing
seconds of regulation sent April's national championship game
against the University of Memphis into overtime. The Jayhawks won
75-68. Chalmers had a four-point play early in the third quarter.
In the last two games, the top three draft picks have made it
through the FedExForum. Derrick Rose, the top pick, played Friday
night when the Chicago Bulls faced No. 3 pick Mayo and the
Grizzlies. Sunday, Beasley, the No. 2 pick, was in town. ...
Grizzlies F Darius Miles, signed Saturday, was on the active
roster, but not in the arena because he must serve a 10-game
suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy by testing
positive for a banned weight-loss stimulant. Grizzlies officials
said he must be shown as active for the first five games of the
suspension, then can appear as inactive until he is eligible to
play on Jan. 4. ... Beasley was back after missing Friday's game
against Atlanta with the flu. Miami G Daequan Cook also was
suffering from the flu, but played. ... Jamaal Magloire was ejected
with 3:11 left for head-butting Milicic as they fought for position
as the Grizzlies prepared to inbound the ball. The 35 third-quarter
points were the most by the Grizzlies in any period this season.