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Miami Heat look for fifth straight win as they host Memphis Grizzlies

Apr 3, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Trevor Ariza (8) attempts a layup during the fourth quarter of a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Trevor Ariza (8) attempts a layup during the fourth quarter of a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Memphis Grizzlies played the Heat, they snapped Miami’s five-game winning streak as Ja Morant drove the court and hit a game-winning layup with 1.2 seconds left on March 17.

The Grizzlies will try to snap another Heat streak Tuesday night when they visit Miami.

The Heat come into Tuesday’s game winners of their past four games, the streak starting March 29 at Madison Square Garden with a 98-88 win against the New York Knicks and continuing through Saturday’s 115-101 victory over visiting Cleveland.

The Heat’s season has featured both extended winning and losing streaks. Miami entered play Monday tied with Atlanta for fourth in the oft-changing Eastern Conference standings.

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Saturday was a rare double-digit win for the Heat, which shot 53.7 percent and had seven players in double figures, including Bam Adebayo (18 points), Duncan Robinson (18) and Jimmy Butler (15).

Miami played the Cavs without Andre Iguodala, who was added to the injury report before the game and did not play due to hip soreness.

Before Miami’s four-game winning streak, it had lost six consecutive games, including that contest against Memphis.

“Everybody has pure intentions about it,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said after Saturday’s game. “Just to play off of each other, share the game and enjoy each other’s success.

“We’re healthier now, we have more weapons. The only way that can be to your advantage is if guys want to make that work and you need to play to your strengths, but you do it with the intention to play together and to try to create something better.”

Said Butler: “There are a lot of guys who can put the ball in the basket. It makes my job a lot easier because I can pass it to the open guy.”

Memphis enters Tuesday’s game with wins in its past two contest, including a 116-100 victory at Philadelphia on Sunday night.

Those two wins have pulled the Grizzlies (24-23) back above the .500 mark.

On Sunday night, Memphis outscored the 76ers 45-29 in the third period, giving the Grizzlies a large enough cushion that Philadelphia’s 10-point advantage in the fourth quarter did not mean a whole lot.

Memphis had seven players in double figures on Sunday, including Dillon Brooks (17 points), Jonas Valanciunas (16) and Grayson Allen (15).

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“Beautiful stat sheet, for sure,” coach Taylor Jenkins said afterward. “We came out and played great Grizzlies basketball.”

In the previous meeting between Miami and Memphis, Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 24 but it was not enough for the Heat as Memphis’ balanced scoring (Morant, De’Anthony Melton and Kyle Anderson each had 13) was too much for a Miami team playing its fifth game in seven nights.

“I am encouraged by our competitive spirit,” Spoelstra said then, “playing a game in the mud.”

Memphis likely again will be without former Miami forward Justise Winslow, who has missed the past four games with right thigh soreness.

–Field Level Media