The Miami Heat overcame an off night by LeBron James to pull out a 98-91 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies and stretch their winning streak to 13 games.
Shooting guard Dwyane Wade scored 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting to head a group of five Miami players in double figures. He also dished out eight assists during Friday night’s game at American Airlines Arena.
James, meanwhile, went just 4-of-14 from the field but he connected on a 3-pointer in the final minute that effectively clinched the victory and halted Memphis’s winning streak at eight games.
“I’ve got confidence I’m going to knock it down, just like all the other ones I’ve missed,” James said afterward. “I had confidence in those too, but they just don’t go down. That’s how the ball goes sometimes. But I’m always confident in my next shot.”
Although the star forward struggled most of the night with his shooting, he still nearly recorded a triple-double with 18 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
Memphis, meanwhile, got an outstanding game from Spanish center Marc Gasol, who imposed his presence inside to the tune of 24 points and nine rebounds.
Point guard Mike Conley and power forward Zach Randolph added 14 points apiece in a losing effort.
The ability to knock down 3-pointers proved to be a decisive factor in a close game, with the Heat sinking 10 of their 19 attempts from behind the arc and the Grizzlies making just four of their 13 tries from that distance.
With the win, the Heat improved to 42-14, second best in the NBA behind the San Antonio Spurs, while the Grizzlies fell to 38-19.
In other action on a busy Friday night in the NBA, the New York Knicks defeated the Washington Wizards 96-88, the Indiana Pacers topped the Toronto Raptors 93-81, and the Houston Rockets pulled away in the fourth quarter to outscore the Orlando Magic 118-110.
The Boston Celtics cruised past the Golden State Warriors 94-86, the Los Angeles Clippers routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-89, the New Orleans Hornets edged the Detroit Pistons 100-95, the Dallas Mavericks got a 98-90 win over the Brooklyn Nets, and the Spurs trounced the Sacramento Kings 130-102.
The Utah Jazz clobbered the Charlotte Bobcats 98-68, the Phoenix Suns pulled out a 92-87 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, and the Denver Nuggets edged the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-103.