Miami Heat ekes past old friend Mike Miller and Memphis Grizzlies

The Miami Heat came from behind to eke out a victory over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies despite the fact that its “Big Three” turned in a collectively subpar performance, and the fact that one of its key role players from its consecutive championship runs was playing for the opposite team. Miami began the evening by presenting a championship ring for former Heat player Mike Miller, who was a salary cap amnesty victim in the offseason. The Heat got off to a slow start and was behind when Miller first entered the game off the bench, immediately draining a three point shot to extend the Grizzlies’ lead. The Heat were down by seven late in the fourth quarter before waking up and turning the game into a contest.

That meant eleven consecutive fourth quarter points by the Heat, setting up a tight finish which was finally decided when Dwayne Wade managed to deliver a long pass to a wide open Ray Allen for a layup. The Heat started its core stars together, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, for the first time in three games. James and Wade had each taken off a game to rest lingering back and knee concerns, respectively, as Miami split the road games against weaker opponents in Cleveland and Boston. But the Grizzlies are playoff bound, and left the sloppy Heat under the gun for the first three quarters. James, Wade, and Bosh finished with a mere combined forty points.

Greg Oden started again for the Heat, while ultimately ceding the bulk of the minutes at center to Chris Andersen. Oden signed in the offseason after having been out basketball due to recurring knee injuries, and the team has brought him along slowly as the season has progressed.