Odom scored a season-high 29 points and the Miami Heat held off
a rally Friday night to defeat Memphis 91-88, preventing the
Grizzlies from winning their seventh in a row.
"He set the rhythm of the game," Grizzlies forward Pau Gasol
said of Odom, who also had 14 rebounds. "He made some big shots at
the end. You've go to give him credit."
"You have to defend your home turf," said Odom, who was coming
off a career-high 17-rebound effort in Tuesday night's win against
Phoenix. "It's definitely important for us to win these games. You
want to win at home then get some on the road."
The Grizzlies, trying to move five games above .500 for first
time in team history, led just once the entire game despite putting
five players in double figures.
"It was a nice streak to have," Memphis coach Hubie Brown
said. "The only thing you walk away from here with is we didn't
cave in. The upside is that we had a chance to win the game. We
always want to have a chance to win, especially on the road. We had
that chance tonight, we had great shots near the basket but the
ball didn't go in for us."
Memphis scored eight consecutive points to tie the score 85-85
on Stromile Swift's free throw with 50.4 seconds left. Odom drove
left and hit a short left-handed jump hook to put ahead Miami 87-85
with 35.1 seconds remaining.
After Gasol missed a layup with 28 seconds to go, Miami's Eddie
Jones sank two free throws to open a four-point edge. The Grizzlies
pulled to 89-88 when Watson nailed a 3-pointer with 19.5 seconds
left before Miami's Wade hit one of two free throws.
Gasol then had a chance to tie the score but missed an 8-foot
baseline jumper over Odom.
"I wanted to make (Gasol) throw the ball over me or go through
me -- which is not possible," Odom said.
Jones hit one of two foul shots, and Swift missed a 3-pointer at
the buzzer to Miami its first win by three or less points this
Odom had 17 points and eight rebounds to help the Heat build a
52-36 lead at the break -- Miami's biggest halftime cushion of the
"We had the guy playing 45 minutes, guarding their leading
scorer, getting every rebound, making plays and then asking him to
blitz on pick-and-rolls," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said of Odom.
"I don't know what else I could have asked him to do tonight."
"Any time you're 19 down and you don't have a frontcourt player
with more than five rebounds and you're shooting 34 percent at
halftime, you know that your frontcourt's not working," Brown
said. "Once we got it to one, our guys were tired, so went with
major subs at that time and unfortunately, we got outscored 18-6.
They answered that and did a great job."
The Grizzlies had won six consecutive games once before,
March 5-16 of this year. ... Memphis fell to 4-1 on the road in the
Eastern Conference. ... Wade has scored in double figures in seven
consecutive games. .. Miami forward Caron Butler, who made his
first start of the season in Tuesday's victory against Phoenix,
again started but exited 5:12 into the first quarter with a
lower-back contusion. He re-entered 2:19 into the second quarter
and finished with eight points in 20 minutes. ... Miami's 52
first-half points fell two shy of its best half this season -- 54 in
the second half at Seattle on Nov. 18. ... Jones continued his
shooting slump, going just 2-of-11. He shot 31 percent (26-of-84)
his previous five games.