Grizzlies surge past Heat late for crucial win

Memphis, TN ( - Mike Conley scored 26 points and keyed a pivotal late run that propelled the Memphis Grizzlies to a crucial 107-102 win over the Miami Heat in a key late-season clash from FedEx Forum.

Conley knocked down a pair of huge 3-pointers during a 12-2 surge that snapped a 91-91 tie and vaulted the Grizzlies to their 12th consecutive home victory. The win also kept Memphis within one game of Phoenix for the eighth and final playoff seed in the Western Conference.

Both the Grizzlies and Suns have four games left in the regular season, with the teams to square off in Phoenix this coming Monday.

"We're playing for something. We're trying to get a spot. This is momentum for us," said Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph. "We have four games left, and we have to take one game at a time."

Eighteen of Conley's points came after halftime, while Randolph delivered 25 points on 12-of-15 shooting and pulled down 11 rebounds and Marc Gasol posted a double-double of his own, finishing with 20 points and 14 boards.

LeBron James racked up 37 points in a potentially costly defeat for the defending NBA champion Heat, who fell a half-game behind Indiana for first place in the East heading into Friday's colossal showdown between the clubs in Miami.

Rashard Lewis added 17 points in the loss, the Heat's third in four games.

"There's some sense of worry," James said afterward. "We want to get healthy. That's all that we care about. We've got more problems as far as health issues than the No. 1 seed."

After the Heat overcame a seven-point deficit earlier in the fourth quarter by putting forth a 9-2 spurt -- which Lewis began with a trey and finished with another triple in which he was fouled with 5:43 remaining and converted the bonus attempt to forge a 91-91 tie -- the Grizzlies dominated down the stretch to prevail.

Gasol sank a short hook on the ensuing possession and Nick Calathes followed with a steal and layup to put Memphis up by four. Gasol then countered a James bucket with two free throws prior to Conley draining back-to-back clutch threes -- the last staking the Grizzlies to a 103-93 advantage with 3:34 left.

Memphis put the game away on Tony Allen's dunk off a Randolph give with 1:27 to play, putting Miami in a 107-95 hole.

The Grizzlies trailed 71-63 four minutes into the second half and were down by seven late in the third quarter, but closed out the period on a 9-2 push to enter the fourth knotted at 80-80 following Courtney Lee's buzzer-beating 3- pointer. Memphis then opened the final stanza with another 9-2 sequence to take a short-lived lead.

An 8-2 run that Ray Allen and Norris Cole ignited with 3-pointers gave the Heat a 45-38 cushion near the midway mark of the second quarter, and Miami went ahead by double digits, 56-46, later in the period when James hit 1-of-2 free throws after feeding Chris Bosh for a dunk with just over three minutes left in the half.

Memphis closed out the frame on an 8-2 swing, however, that cut the margin to 58-54 at the break.

Both teams shot extremely well during a fast-paced first quarter, with Randolph going 8-of-8 from the field for a 17-point outburst and the Grizzlies hitting on 14 of their 18 attempts. Miami countered with a 13-of-19 display, however, and buried six 3-pointers to own a 32-31 edge heading into the second.

Game Notes

The Heat played their eighth straight game without Dwyane Wade (hamstring/Achilles), while forward Udonis Haslem (stomach virus) and center Chris Andersen (knee) were also held out ... Grizzlies forward Tayshaun Prince missed a second straight contest due to a sprained ankle ... Lee ended with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting ... The Heat have now lost in five of their last six trips to FedEx Forum ... Memphis improved to 29-13 since Gasol returned from a knee injury in mid-January.