NBA Game Summary - Miami at Memphis
(Wednesday, November 2nd)
Final Score: Miami 97, Memphis 78
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Antoine Walker had a successful Miami debut and netted 25 points while pulling down 16 rebounds, as the Heat won their season opener over the Memphis Grizzlies, 97-78, at the FedExForum
Walker was acquired by the Heat in a blockbuster five-team, 13-player trade that included the Grizzlies.
"Everyone is going to get their chance. If somebody doesn't have it going I'm going to step it up offensively," said Walker.
Jason Williams, also involved in the deal, scored 10 points in his Heat debut, while Dwyane Wade added 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who have split their last four meetings against Memphis.
Shaquille O'Neal netted 12 points and six rebounds in only 27 minutes of action and Gary Payton scored four points in his first game with the Heat.
Pau Gasol paced Memphis with a game-high 26 points -- 19 in the first half -- and 12 rebounds. Eddie Jones, who was sent to the Grizzlies in the trade, chipped in 15 points against his old team.
"I think we are a better defensive team," Jones said. "We've just got to go out and do it. I think we executed but we didn't do a good job at kicking the ball back and making the next pass."
Damon Stoudamire, signed as a free agent, scored 10 points while dishing out five assists for Memphis, which had a three-game home winning streak against the Heat stopped.
With Memphis ahead 42-38 after the first half, the two teams stayed close through most of the third stanza and the Grizzlies possessed a 56-55 lead after Gasol's bucket with 3:36 remaining in the third. However, Miami would begin to get things going as the Heat closed out the third quarter on a 10-3 run to hold a 66-58 lead.
Miami didn't stop in the fourth as Wade's dunk with 7:01 left in the fourth put the Heat up 84-64. Jones later hit a pair of free throws to pull the Grizzlies to within 86-72 with 3:48 remaining in the final frame, but Williams' steal and layup, two free throws by Wade, and a three-pointer by Walker put the Heat ahead by 19 with just under two minutes left in the game as Miami cruised to the win.
"We took ourselves out of the game. Miami defended better than we did," said Memphis head coach Mike Fratello. "It came down to doing the small things, screening well, passing well, and good shot selection. We had to fight to get a shot and they [Miami] just don�t give you one."
The Heat showed no indication early they would run out to a big lead as both teams started out slow to begin the game and found themselves tied at nine midway through the first period.
"We were trying to make plays and force things," said Heat head coach Stan Van Gundy. "It was typical of a first night. Once we relaxed and played together it got a lot better."
Wade's jumper would then put Miami up 21-14 with just over three minutes left in the first quarter, but Memphis battled back and found itself down only 24-21 at the end of the first quarter after Gasol scored the Grizzlies final five points of the frame.
Gasol's last three points of the quarter helped lead to a 9-0 run that carried into the second, staking Memphis to a 27-24 lead. Two free throw's by Payton with just under two minutes left in the first half tied the contest at 38-38, but a Gasol jump shot and a Shane Battier layup sent the Grizzlies to a 42-38 lead at the half.
Miami's Jason Kapono added nine points off the bench...Battier finished with eight points...The Heat scored 59 points in the second half...O'Neal was given a technical foul in the second quarter...The two teams exchanged leads 14 times...Miami scored 54 points in the paint...Memphis shot 34.1 percent from the floor, the Heat 47.4 percent...James Posey, also acquired by the Heat from the Grizzlies in the five-team trade, was inactive.
11/03 02:30:56 ET