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Heat’s Lethargic Play Leads To 128-110 Loss To Grizzlies

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The return of the Miami Heat’s complete lineup didn’t come with glitz and glamor Tuesday afternoon.

In surprising fashion, it wasn’t even close, as the Heat fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 128-110.

And it doesn’t shock that Miami’s sluggish play comes with a starting five of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn and Meyers Leonard, as it’s their first time lining up together since February 3.

Allowing 41 points in the opening quarter, the Heat struggled to slow down Memphis, as they notched a 17-point lead entering the half.

The Grizzlies continued their hot shooting entering the third quarter, where they extended the lead to 23.

Against an opponent known with speed and youth on their side, led by Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., the Heat struggled evening their shots from three-point range. At the same time, a streaky margin of turnovers didn’t help their comeback.

Miami ended the game 15 of 40 from beyond the arc, in addition to a classic 17 turnovers.

Jimmy Butler ended the game with 18 points, 8 assists and 2 rebounds. Bam Adebayo finished with 16 points and 4 rebounds, as Miami dropped their second consecutive scrimmage.

Yero’s Perspective On Heat’s Loss:

1 — It only gets tougher from here.

Tuesday’s loss concludes Miami’s three-game scrimmage schedule, with their next battle August 1 vs. the Denver Nuggets, their first of eight “seeding” games.

They’ll take on the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks following their Saturday opener, the top three seeded teams in the Eastern Conference.

While Miami won’t have to worry about clinching the playoffs, their performance during the eight-game stretch could place them third-place or even sixth-place in the East standings.

2 — Miami’s defense struggled for the second straight night.

Last time it was Rudy Gobert dominating Miami’s defensive efforts, scoring 21 points on 8 of 9 shooting. As for Memphis, it was an entire team humiliating the Heat.

Scoring from three-point range came with ease for the Grizzlies, hitting 19 of 42 (45.2 percent) of attempts from deep.

The paint was owned by Jonas Valanciunas, making 5 of 12 shots en route to 15 points.

With 1:37 left in the third quarter, Memphis already had their highest total of points they’ve garnered in the previous two scrimmages (104 points). In total, Memphis shot 46.8 percent (45-96) on field-goal attempts, haunting Miami’s afternoon.

3 — Olynyk and Crowder duo unites the Heat’s bench.

Whether it be on the same night or different occasions, Kelly Olynyk and/or Jae Crowder seemingly always play a great role in the Heat’s bench performance.

Saturday it was Olynyk, scoring a team-high 27 points and eight rebounds, in 28 minutes of action. Despite loss vs. the Utah Jazz, the 6-foot-10 big man provided the necessities with Adebayo out.

It was Crowder’s turn Tuesday, totaling 12 points on 4 of 10 shooting, along with eight rebounds, tying with Olynyk in bench points.

4 — Grizzlies’ young core dominates.

The Grizzlies bounced back from a 119-104 loss to the Houston Rockets Tuesday. Ja Morant led his team with 22 points and 12 assists. Dillon Brooks totaled a team-high 23 points on 8 of 12 shooting.

Jaren Jackson Jr. dominated on all sides of the court, finishing with 11 points, two steals and two blocks. Kyle Anderson recorded 13 points along with 7 rebounds.

5 — Adebayo looking sharp in Disney debut.

Coach Erik Spoelstra exceeded Bam Adebayo’s anticipated playing time, as he recorded 25 minutes of action, scoring 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting.

Adebayo was efficient early, making Miami’s first shot and scoring six points in the first quarter. Still, it was obvious that he needs more time to settle in with his teammates.

There was rarely any connection to Duncan Robinson on dribble hand-offs, which is what they’ve excelled in throughout the 2019-20 season.

Follow @305Sportss and @MichaelYero for more Miami Heat news!

Michael Yero covers all of South Florida’s major pro teams, along with high school sports for 305 Sports. He also covers sports for Immaculata-La Salle High School’s student newspaper, the Royal Courier.

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