MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade helped the Miami Heat close the preseason with their fourth straight win, but the reserves preserved the victory.
Bosh scored 21 points, Wade added 16, and the Heat defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 104-98 on Friday night.
"Obviously, myself and Chris are the two main guys when it comes to play calling and things of that nature," Wade said. "I thought we did a good job, especially late in the preseason, of getting to our game and everyone still feeling comfortable in their roles."
The Heat bench pushed the lead to 17 early in the fourth quarter. Despite Memphis pulling within 94-91 near the 4-minute mark, the Grizzlies were unable to get closer.
Wade and Bosh are the main holdovers from last year's team after the departure of LeBron James. Both said the preseason was a good time to get their roles in order.
"I think, overall, it was a good preseason," said Bosh. "We started off a little slow, and that was to be expected with so many new guys trying to learn everything. We have pretty much new roles all the way around."
Norris Cole finished with 14 points for Miami, while Mario Chalmers added 11. Shawne Williams and rookie James Ennis each scored 10 for the Heat.
Jon Leuer led the Grizzlies with 21 points, while Vince Carter added 13, including connecting on all three of his 3-pointers. Zach Randolph was the only Memphis starter in double figures with 12 points. Rookie Jordan Adams also had 12 points.
Both coaches made it pretty clear in their pregame talks they wanted to get to the regular season and stuck to that mindset afterwards.
"We are healthy, and that is the most important thing out of (Friday's) game, " Memphis coach Dave Joerger said after the loss. "We kept our guys' minutes down as much as possible and just wanted to have them play the first half and get guys off the floor."
Grizzlies: The game was the last appearance of reserve point guard Nick Calathes for awhile. Calathes will sit out the first 13 games of the regular season, serving the balance of a 20-game suspension handed down before last season's opening round of the playoffs. He tested positive for Tamoxifin, one of the league's banned substances. Carter played his most minutes of the preseason, logging 22 minutes.
Heat: Josh McRoberts sat out again for Miami, but coach Erik Spoelstra said he continues to improve daily. "We don't want to put a timetable on it," Spoelstra said of McRoberts' return. "I'm not going to fast-track it." The Heat connected on nine of their first 10 shots.
OH. THAT'S WHAT HE MEANT
Memphis wants a slow, controlled pace to its offense, primarily because of its strength with center Marc Gasol and Randolph in the post. So it was a bit surprising when Joerger mentioned the pace in the same breath as the Blue Angels — until he explained the squadron's formation poses a problem. "The ballhandler's got the ball and four guys are all coming up the floor together," Joerger said. "At not-Blue Angels-pace."
WHO'S ON POINT
Cole, as he has through the preseason, started for Miami at point guard. But Spoelstra was not ready to christen him the opening-night starter. "I'm still open, and I'm not in panic mode, either. This season will reveal a lot, and I'll make appropriate decisions when the time is right. He'll start (Friday). That is not a declaration yet for opening night."
Lauren Holtkamp, only the third female referee in NBA history, was on the officiating crew. It is her first year in the league. The two previous female officials were Violet Palmer, who still calls games, and Dee Kantner, supervisor for WNBA officials.
Grizzlies: Open the season Wednesday at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Heat: Open the season at home Wednesday against the Washington Wizards.