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GRIZZLES COOL THE HEAT, 91-86

Grizzlies Hitting Stride as Miami Continues to Stumble.

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MIAMI -- Different night, different way to lose for the Miami Heat. Jason Williams scored 19 points to lead six players in double figures as the Memphis Grizzlies handed the Heat their fifth straight loss, 91-86. One night after squandering a 19-point lead in a 100-96 loss to Atlanta, Miami fell behind early. Although they were within striking, the Heat never could take control. Grant Long scored a season-high 16 points against his former team on 7-of-11 shooting for Memphis, which has four of five following a five-game losing streak. In a losing effort, Alonzo Mourning did manage four blocks to go along with 20 points and 12 boards. Victor Baldizon NBAE/Getty Images "I was really aggressive looking for my shot," Long said. "They were looking to leave me open. I guess that was the lesser of the two evils. I took some opportunites and fortunately, they went down." Williams nearly recorded a triple-double with 12 assists and nine rebounds and made a jumper with 2:32 left that gave the Grizzlies an 86-76 lead. "Jason played well," Memphis coach Sidney Lowe said. "He's patient with his shots. He's running the show for us right now. Jason has the ability to control the players, tempo and the game." Alonzo Mourning scored 20 points for Miami, whose 5-22 record is the second-worst in the NBA. But Mourning was called for traveling on an easy dunk in the fourth quarter on a play that was typical of the Heat's struggles this season. Miami also committed 20 turnovers and missed 9-of-15 free throws. The Heat appeared to show the effects of Thursday's defeat as they missed their first five shots and committed four turnovers at the start. Shane Battier was held scoreless in the first half, but Memphis was able to take a 47-42 lead into the locker room. The rookie from Duke finally connected on a pair of open 3-pointers that gave the Grizzlies a 54-42 lead with 10:37 left in the third quarter. Battier also made a mid-range jumper, helping Memphis open its biggest cushion, 63-48. Miami coach Pat Riley was not happy with his defense. "In the fourth quarter, we had just became absoulutely soft defensively," he said. "We don't close on shooters. The ball will rotate to someone in the corner and somebody will just watch them shoot the ball and won't rotate to him. It's the way it's going to be, and that's a bad sign. " But the Heat scored eight straight point to slice the deficit to 72-67 with 10 minutes to play. Memphis answered with an 8-2 burst over the next three minutes. Three consecutive turnovers by the Grizzlies opened the door for Miami, but Mourning missed a dunk and committed an offensive foul around a missed 3-pointer by Eddie House. The Grizzlies' turnaround included last week's 114-104 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers. Battier attributed the reversal to the play of Williams. "Earlier in the year, I think he thought he was still playing with the Sacramento Kings," Battier said. "He had to learn we had some young guys, and patience is the key with this team. He has been much more patient the last six or seven games and we have been a better team because of his strong play." Miami has scored under 100 points in 27 times, breaking the team record set during the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season. The NBA record of 29 is shared by the 1997-98 Orlando Magic and the 1999-00 Chicago Bulls.

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