MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Zach Randolph had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Marc Gasol added 20 points and 14 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies kept their playoff hopes alive with a 107-102 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
LeBron James led the Heat with 37 points, connecting on 14 of 23 shots, including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. Rashard Lewis scored 17, and Chris Bosh finished with 13 points. Mario Chalmers scored 12 points for the Heat.
Meanwhile, the loss, coupled with the Indiana Pacers’ 104-102 win at Milwaukee, dropped theHeat into the second spot in the Eastern Conference.
Mike Conley finished with a team-high 26 points and handed out six assists as Memphis remained one game behind the Phoenix Suns for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Suns defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 94-88 also on Wednesday night.
Courtney Lee added 18 points for Memphis.
The scoring of Randolph and Gasol contributed to a 60-30 advantage in the paint for Memphis.
The Grizzles outrebounded the Heat 41-27, who were without reserve frontline players Greg Oden and Chris Andersen.
Both teams shot well — Memphis hitting 55 percent of its shots, compared to 52 percent for Miami, but the Heat was 15 of 25 from outside the arc.
The teams were tied at 91 after Lewis’ 3-pointer was topped with a foul when Gasol bumped him. The ensuing free throw tied the game.
Memphis turned up the defense at that point and scored in its transition game. Conley’s 3-pointer with just over 4 minutes left gave Memphis a 100-93 lead, causing Miami coach Erik Spoelstra to call timeout.
The Grizzlies got another turnover on the next possession and Conley converted another 3-pointer to give Memphis its first double-digit lead at 103-93, completing a 12-2 run with 3:34 left and sealing the game for Memphis.
There weren’t many misses to start the game. The teams combined to hit 11 of their first 12 shots. Memphis would end up starting 10 of 11, while the Heat were 6 of 7 from beyond the arc, and Randolph hit all eight of his shots in the quarter.
By the end of the first quarter, the teams were 27 of 37.
The accuracy decreased only slightly in the second quarter. The problem for Memphis was Miami hit 9 of its first 10 from beyond the arc.
That helped the Heat carry a 58-54 lead into halftime as James had 16 points and Bosh 11.
Randolph had 19 for Memphis, connecting on all nine shots. Gasol scored 10.
The Grizzlies managed to shoot 62 percent for the half, compared to 56 for the Heat, who missed their last five from 3-point range and connected on 56 percent in the first two quarters.
Things got a tad intense in the third as both teams turned up the defense and there was a lot of contact on plays.
Lee’s 3-pointer at the close of the third period originally was ruled too late. But after review the call was overturned and the teams entered the final quarter tied at 80.
NOTES: James connected on a 4-point play early in the third quarters when he was fouled at the top of the key by Grizzlies F James Johnson. … Randolph’s eight field goals in the first quarter tied a franchise mark held by Mike Bibby. … Memphis has won 12 straight at home. The Grizzlies are 9-0 when facing teams coming into Memphis on the second night of a back-to-back. The Heat lost to Brooklyn 88-87 on Tuesday night.
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