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News » Grizzlies-Heat Preview 2009-12-13

Grizzlies-Heat Preview 2009-12-13

Grizzlies-Heat Preview 2009-12-13The Miami Heat have stumbled at home recently. Hosting the Memphis Grizzlies could stop their longest losing streak there in more than a year.

The Heat continue a six-game homestand Sunday when they take on the Grizzlies, trying to avoid a fourth straight loss at the American Airlines Center.

Miami (11-10) opened the season 6-1, but has dropped five of seven. After splitting a four-game road trip, the Heat lost their third in a row at home Friday, falling 106-93 to Dallas.

Miami didn't lose three consecutive games at the American Airlines Center all of last season, when it went 28-13 at home. In 2007-08, the Heat went 9-32 at home en route to a franchise-tying 67-loss season.

They've averaged 88.7 points over the last six home games.

Dwyane Wade had 28 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double in five games, but he was unable to rally the Heat from a 12-point deficit after one quarter. He also wound up using a brace to protect his right hand after a hard fall.

"We came out flat," said Wade, who shot 8 of 24. "We got some shots and we didn't make them. We just came out flat offensively. It's not desperate times when you got 61 games left in the season."

Wade is averaging 29.8 points and 7.0 assists in his last four home games against the Grizzlies.

While scoring has been a problem at home recently, Miami is also trying to get its struggling defense back on track. The Heat have surrendered 100 or more points in five straight games and are giving up 97.7 per game overall.

Miami could get a boost from the return of center Jermaine O'Neal, who missed the last two game following the death of his uncle. O'Neal is averaging 14.3 points and 8.1 rebounds.

The Grizzlies (9-13) had a three-game winning streak snapped by a 102-94 loss to Oklahoma City on Friday, but they have split their last six road games after losing their first six outside Memphis.

Memphis rallied from a 17-point deficit to lead 70-66 entering the fourth quarter, but 10 missed free throws plagued its comeback as Mike Conley scored 20 points and Zach Randolph added 19 and a season-high 20 rebounds.

"You've got to make free throws," coach Lionel Hollins said. "We lost by eight and missed 10 free throws. If we make eight, we're tied and into overtime. If we make nine, we win the game."

Friday was only the second time in the last six regulation games that the Grizzlies gave up 100 points.

Randolph has recorded four straight double-doubles, averaging 23.8 points and 14.8 rebounds. However, he went 8 of 21 on Friday after shooting better than 50 percent in the previous two games.

Randolph is averaging 22.7 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last three games against Miami.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 13, 2009


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