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Memphis at Miami

Venue: AmericanAirlines Arena
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In a South Beach showdown of the league's hottest teams, it seems only one is grabbing all the headlines. That may start to change if the Memphis Grizzlies pull off a season sweep of the Miami Heat.

Each team pulled off a memorable victory in its last game but surely would consider one Friday night to be much more significant. The Grizzlies are looking to record the longest winning streak in franchise history and prevent the Heat from notching the second longest in theirs.

A run of 12 consecutive victories along with LeBron James' dazzling play has largely made Miami the focal point of the NBA. This win streak is the team's best since James' first season with the Heat in 2010-11, and the only one that lasted longer was a 14-game run in 2004-05.

"We're coming together," said James, averaging 29.8 points and shooting 65.0 percent during this win streak. "We're doing it the right way. We're executing offensively. We're sharing the ball."

He certainly shared a lot Tuesday, recording a career-high 16 assists to go with his season-best 40 points in a 141-129 double-overtime victory over Sacramento. Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 39 for the Heat (41-14), who trailed in the fourth quarter against a sub-.500 team for the second straight game.

"We're not getting rattled," James said. "We've been in some crazy games. We just stay the course and figure out a way to get the victory."

That certainly was the case for the Grizzlies (38-18) on Wednesday. They matched the biggest comeback in franchise history by rallying from a 25-point deficit in the second quarter to beat Dallas 90-84.

Memphis equaled another team record with an eighth consecutive victory, previously achieved in November of this season and January 2004.

"We didn't want to go out tonight and get blown out, especially going into Miami, which is a team that is rolling right now," forward Austin Daye said. "This win gives us a lot of confidence going into Miami and we are looking forward to going down there."

The Grizzlies have even more reason to be confident as one of four teams to beat the Heat by more than 10 points this season. Memphis is the only one to hold them below 40 percent from the field, winning 104-86 on Nov. 11 as Wade had eight points on 3-of-15 shooting.

In fact, few teams have had done as well against the Heat in recent years. The Grizzlies have won seven of the past 10 meetings and three of four since James joined Miami.

One reason for that success is Memphis having a more formidable frontcourt. Zach Randolph has posted five consecutive double-doubles and has four in the last five matchups with Miami. Center Marc Gasol has averaged 18.0 points and 10.7 rebounds over his last three games.

However, the Grizzlies won't have Rudy Gay this time after trading their top scorer to Toronto, and their only loss in the past four meetings came when he was sidelined by injury.

Newcomer Tayshaun Prince has replaced him in the starting lineup and is scoring 8.9 per game in a Memphis uniform, about half what Gay was averaging.

"We aren't that talented," coach Lionel Hollins said. "We have to be prepared. We have to be mentally and physically ready to play."

The Grizzlies always seem ready on defense, allowing a Western Conference-low 89.5 points per game - 80.0 over the last four.

Miami averages an East-leading 103.9 points, including 111.2 in its last 10.

Ray Allen is 12 for 19 on 3-pointers over the last three games. Fellow aging sharpshooter Shane Battier, 28 of 47 from beyond the arc in his last nine, could return after sitting out Tuesday with hamstring tightness.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Memphis 8 Miami -8
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Memphis1st Southwest 132.86708-2Won 3
Miami3rd Southeast 87.5331.55-5Lost 1

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Injuries
Memphis
PlayerInjury
No injuries reported.
Miami
PlayerInjury
D WadeHamstring
 
Key Players
Rudy<br>Gay
Rudy
Gay
, SF
37.2 Min. Per Game 38.5 LeBron<br>James
LeBron
James
, SF
17.9 Pts. Per Game 27.3
2.6 Ast. Per Game 7.3
6.1 Reb. Per Game 8.1
40.2 Field Goal % 56.8
29.4 Three Point % 41.1
79.5 Free Throw % 75.3
 
Team Rankings
TeamRankPoints
Memphis Grizzlies492.12
Miami Heat393.66
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Nov 30 @ New York 
Feb 9Miami 
Feb 20 @ New York 
 
Other Games
Hou 118 Final
Orl 110
NY 96 Final
Wash 88
Ind 93 Final
Tor 81
GS 86 Final
Bos 94
LAC 105 Final
Cle 89
Det 95 Final
NO 100
Dal 98 Final
Brook 90
Sac 102 Final
SA 130
Atl 87 Final
Pho 92
Char 68 Final
Utah 98
OKC 103 Final
Den 105