HEAT DEFENSE SMOTHERS MEMPHIS, 93-88 

HEAT DEFENSE SMOTHERS MEMPHIS, 93-88

Just days after scoring a franchise record 122 points in regulations against the Indiana Pacers, the Memphis Grizzlies ran into a wall known as Pat Riley’s Miami Heat. Heat Center Alonzo Mourning set the tone early with three blocked shots in the first quarter. The Heat perimeter defense did the rest as the Heat (28-33) beat the Grizzlies (16-46) on Saturday night in front of over 16,000 at the Pyramid. For the game, the Grizzlies shot only 39.3% from the field, while the Heat managed to shot over 43%. In the win over the Pacers, the Grizzlies shot 66% from the field. The Grizzlies were led once again by returned point guard Jason Williams who scored a game-high 19 points. However, the Miami defense limited Williams’ distribution capabilities as the guard only had four assists. Also for the Grizzlies, forward Shane Battier scored 17 points, and center Lorenzen Wright and forward Pau Gasol each scored 14 points. Both players rebounded well with a game-high 16 for Wright and 11 for Gasol. “We knew they were a physical team, but our guys played hard,” head coach Sidney Lowe said after the game. “We missed a couple of easy shots in the lane. Mourning was very active.” For the Heat, guard Jim Jackson and Mourning led the way with 18 points apiece. Guard Rod Strickland scored 17 points, guard Eddie Jones scored 16, forward Kendall Gill and Mourning each scored 11 points, and guard Jim Jackson and center Vladimir Stepania each scored 10 points apiece. Mourning also had 10 rebounds and six blocks for the game. “They’re pretty physical,” Battier said after the game. “It’s vintage Pat Riley on a Saturday night. They hold and grab and hack and they just wear you down.” The Grizzlies return to the Pyramid on Monday, March 11 to play against the Utah Jazz before traveling to the San Antonio Spurs on March 12.

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