After convincingly knocking off one NBA finalist from a year ago, the Memphis Grizzlies have quickly set their sights on avenging a loss from earlier this week to the other one.
The Grizzlies are eager to move two games ahead of the visiting Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference standings Saturday night.
Memphis (31-23) never trailed in an impressive 97-82 win over Miami on Friday, snapping the superstar-laden Heat's 17-game home winning streak. The Grizzlies led by double digits throughout the final three quarters.
"The first time I looked up at the scoreboard we were up 15 points," coach Lionel Hollins said. "We were playing well and we had a lot of people do a lot of good things."
His players seem to have quickly turned the page to Dallas (31-25), which won 95-85 at home over Memphis on Wednesday.
"This is a great win, but tomorrow we have a Dallas team that got on us two nights ago," guard Gilbert Arenas said.
The Grizzlies were a fatigued team that game, playing for the third straight night against a Mavericks team that had Tuesday off. Both teams played Friday heading into this rematch, and Dallas could be more tired this time after losing 99-97 in overtime at home to Portland.
Dirk Nowitzki notched his second straight double-double with 23 points and 14 boards, but his turnover with 19 seconds left in OT gave the Trail Blazers possession and set up LaMarcus Aldridge's buzzer-beating 17-foot jumper.
"It was kind of an instinct play," Nowitzki said. "You see a guy open, you want to throw it to him. Sometimes you make decisions in a split second. I made the wrong one."
The Mavericks led by as many as 15 points before scoring 10 in the third quarter - a season low for any period. They dropped one game behind Memphis into sole possession of sixth place in the West.
Reserve center Ian Mahinmi missed Friday night's game to be with his fiancee for the birth of their child. Mahinmi is expected to rejoin the team Saturday after he tied Nowitzki for the team lead with 10 boards Wednesday against the Grizzlies.
The Mavs remain without veteran point guard Jason Kidd, who has missed three straight games with a groin strain.
Memphis could again be without starting guard Tony Allen, who didn't play Friday with Quincy Pondexter in his place. Allen suffered a facial laceration Wednesday on a hard foul from Brendan Haywood with 5:20 left.
Pondexter was one of only two Grizzlies who failed to reach double digits in points Friday among nine who logged at least 12 minutes. Rudy Gay scored a team-high 17 points and Arenas had 12, his most since joining Memphis last month.
"There's nothing to celebrate," center Marc Gasol said. "We just won a game. Tomorrow is a big game for us at home."
The Grizzlies have won nine of their last 11 at home, where they haven't lost in regulation since a 98-88 defeat to Utah on Feb. 12.
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Dallas Mavericks
- Gilbert Arenas
- Dirk Nowitzki