Tyler Johnson leads Heat past Grizzlies, 90-81

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tyler Johnson matched his season high with 22 points, Dion Waiters added 15 and the Miami Heat snapped their two-game losing streak with a 90-81 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

James Johnson added 13 points and Josh Richardson finished with 12 for Miami in the game that matched Heat coach Erik Spoelstra against his former assistant, first-year Memphis coach David Fizdale.

Mike Conley, who came off the bench, led Memphis with 16 points but shot only 5 of 15 from the field. JaMychal Green finished with 14 points for Memphis, which played without Zach Randolph following his mother’s death and had its six-game winning streak snapped.

Miami shot 12 of 31 outside the arc and forced 18 turnovers, leading to 23 points.

The Heat played without a number of players due to injuries. The latest was point guard Goran Dragic, who missed the game because of a sore left elbow. He joined Wayne Ellington, Willie Reed and Justise Winslow on the Miami injured list.

Despite the shortage of key players, Miami jumped to an early lead, built it to as many as 17 and led from start to finish.

Miami answered every Grizzlies surge with a 3-pointer, including Richardson going 4 for 7 and James Johnson missing only one of his four shots from outside the arc.

Miami used 3-point shooting to open the third quarter, hitting six of its first nine long-distance shots. That helped the Heat build their biggest lead to 17 in the latter stages of the third.

Meanwhile, the Memphis offense, which seemed out of sync most of the night, continued to sputter.

The Heat held a 71-57 lead entering the fourth.

Miami got a big push off the bench from Tyler Johnson, who scored 15 points as Miami built a 13-point lead in the half en route to a 45-39 lead at the break.

Both teams shot around 35 percent in the half. Memphis committed 10 turnovers, leading to 14 Miami points.

Miami finished the game at 39 percent, while Memphis connected on 35 percent of its shots.


Heat: In announcing Dragic would not play, Spoelstra said the guard’s elbow “is just not getting better.” … C Hassan Whiteside recorded a block in the first quarter, his 44th consecutive game with a block, dating to Feb. 15 last season. He finished with two blocks. Whiteside, who finished with 12 rebounds, has led the Heat in rebounding in all 15 games this season.

Grizzlies: With Conley not starting, Troy Daniels, who started in Wednesday night’s double-overtime win at Philadelphia, started in the backcourt with rookie Andrew Harrison. . Conley entered the game in the first quarter. . Harrison missed all eight of his shots in the game, but finished with seven assists.


Randolph was not with the team after the death of his mother, Mae Randolph, on Thanksgiving. The team granted the veteran an indefinite leave of absence. “Zach and his mother had an inseparable bond,” Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace said in a statement released by the team. “Mae was so fiercely proud of her son, his accomplishments and his truly special place in the hearts of Memphians and the Grizzlies family.”


The game was the first reunion game for Fizdale, who served as a Miami assistant for eight years before becoming the Grizzlies coach during the offseason. There were plenty of hugs, handshakes and receiving lines of well-wishers for Fizdale, including after the game.


Heat: Return home Saturday night after a four-game road trip to face the Grizzlies.

Grizzlies: Memphis will play its fourth straight game against an Eastern Conference opponent when it faces the Heat on Saturday. The Grizzlies are 3-0 this season on the second night of a back-to-back.

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