LeBron James scored 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Miami Heat extended their win-streak to 13 games with a 98-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.
James finished with 18 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds and had a clutch three pointer late in the fourth for the Heat, who snapped the Grizzlies win streak at eight games.
“I am just feeling good about picking my spots and just being aggressive and mix in going to the basket and shooting my outside shot,” said James. “I am in a groove right now from that standpoint of my confidence and hopefully I can stay locked in for a while.”
Miami’s Dwyane Wade finished with 22 points and eight assists in the win.
Marc Gasol scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Mike Conley and Zach Randolph had 14 points each for the Grizzlies.
“We wanted to win (the game) and we couldn’t pull it off,” said Gasol. “They made a couple of big plays in the end. LeBron made a big three.”
The Grizzlies eight straight wins tied their most in franchise history dating back to their days as the Vancouver Grizzlies.
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said Grizzlies used their size effectively to prevent the Heat from generating scoring chances.
“They are a big team,” Spoelstra said.
James, who carried the Heat on his back for most of February, got some help this time. He started slowly Friday and for awhile it looked like he might be held to under 10 points in a game for the first time in over six years.
The Heat have won 11 in a row at the American Airlines Arena. They also improved to 25-3 at home and have the Eastern Conference’s best home record this season.
The Heat haven’t lost since dropping a game in Indiana to the Pacers on February 1. Miami’s .923 winning percentage for February was its third-best in franchise history.
The Grizzlies gave the Heat a scare though, especially in the opening half, as they turned Friday’s contest into a classic matchup of Miami’s explosive offence and Memphis’ stingy defence.
Heading into Friday’s game the Grizzlies were allowing an average of just 89.5 points per game, best in the league.
Memphis have won eight in a row twice this season. The Grizzlies lost their season-opener then won eight consecutive games from November 2-17.