December 17, 2019 / 4:00 AM / a month ago

Grizzlies blow lead before pushing past Heat

EditorsNote: deletes “nearly” from lede

Dec 16, 2019; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) warms up before the game against the Miami Heat at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

After squandering a 15-point halftime lead, the Memphis Grizzlies closed the game on a 14-4 run to top the visiting Miami Heat 118-111 on Monday.

Chipping away at a deficit that grew to as many as 16 points in the third quarter, Miami took a three-point lead with 5:30 remaining when Bam Adebayo dunked home two of his 14 points. The Grizzlies held the Heat to one point over the next 5:19.

Memphis regained the lead with quick buckets from Jae Crowder and Ja Morant, the first of five Grizzlies to score during the decisive run.

The balanced scoring over the end-of-game flourish reflected the night for Memphis. Jonas Valanciunas’ 21 points and Morant’s 20 set the pace with six Grizzlies scoring in double figures, including 16 and 14 points off the bench from De’Anthony Melton and Brandon Clarke.

Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 15 points, including a 3-pointer during the late run, and Crowder notched four of his 10 points in the final 5 1/2 minutes. Dillon Brooks came one point shy of putting all five Memphis starters in double figures, finishing with nine.

Valanciunas and Morant both recorded double-doubles. Valanciunas grabbed 10 rebounds to pace Memphis’ 45-35 edge on the glass, while Morant dished out a game-high 10 assists.

Adebayo finished with a double-double for Miami, grabbing 13 rebounds to go with five assists, three steals and three blocked shots.

Heat star Jimmy Butler registered his ninth consecutive 20-plus-point game, putting up 25. His 3-pointer with 11.8 seconds remaining ended Miami’s field-goal drought, but it was too little, too late. The Memphis run was 12-1 by that juncture, with any hope of a Heat rally evaporating on a missed Tyler Herro layup with 46.6 seconds to go.

Herro scored 22 points off the bench. Derrick Jones Jr. joined him with 15 points in a reserve role. The Heat also got 18 points from Kendrick Nunn while Duncan Robinson scored all 12 of his points from behind the 3-point arc.

—Field Level Media

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