Miami, FL – It wasn't the offensive onslaught we're accustomed to seeing from LeBron James, but when his team needed a bucket, the Miami superstar stepped up.
James poured in 14 points in the fourth quarter, including a clutch 3-pointer late in regulation to help the Heat extend their win-streak to 13 games with a 98-91 triumph over the Memphis Grizzlies at AmericanAirlines Arena.
James finished with 18 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, while Dwyane Wade led the way with 22 points and eight assists in Miami's 11th straight home victory.
"I am just feeling good about picking my spots and just being aggressive and mix in going to the basket and shooting my outside shot," said James. " I am in a groove right now from that standpoint of my confidence and hopefully I can stay locked in for a while."
Marc Gasol scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed nine boards, while Mike Conley and Zach Randolph donated 14 points apiece for the Grizzlies, who saw their eight-game winning streak come to an end.
"We wanted to win (the game) and we couldn't pull it off," said Gasol. "They made a couple of big plays in the end. LeBron (James) made a big three (towards the end of the game)."
The back-and-forth contest featured 15 lead changes and 10 ties, with the last one coming with 2:44 to play when Gasol buried two free throws to knot the game at 85-85.
Chris Bosh converted a three-point play at the other end, and after Quincy Pondexter missed a trey from the corner, James grabbed the board and sprang Wade for a fastbreak dunk to make it 90-85 with 2:04 left.
Gasol answered with four straight points to bring Memphis within one with 42.5 ticks remaining, but with the shot clock winding down at the other end, James drained a triple from the top of the key with 24.2 left.
James was able to put the game away from the line, as he connected on 5-of-6 from the charity stripe down the stretch to help the Heat hang on.
With James struggling to score in the early going, Wade and Ray Allen provided the offensive firepower. Wade finished the first half with 10 points, while Allen connected on 2-of-3 from 3-point range en route to eight points.
Miami shot 45.5 percent (15-for-33) from the field over the opening 24 minutes and held the Grizzlies without a 3-point field goal (0-for-3) to take a slim 42-41 edge into the locker room.
Neither team made any headway in a tightly-contested third frame that featured six lead changes and three ties.
The Heat opened the second half with five straight points to push their lead to six, but Memphis responded with eight straight points to jump in front.
It remained nip-and-tuck from there, as Shane Battier's 3-pointer with 34.5 seconds left in the third allowed the Heat to turn a two-point deficit into a one-point lead heading into the fourth.
Battier finished 4-for-5 from long range en route to 14 points ... Bosh totaled 13 points, while Allen added 10 for the Heat ... Pondexter poured in 10 points for Memphis ... Miami improved to 26-3 at home, while Memphis fell to 15-11 on the road ... Miami shot 46.6 percent (34-for-73) from the field overall, including 52.6 percent (10-for-19) from beyond the arc.