For the first time in nearly two months, the Miami Heat got an easy one.
Bam Adebayo scored 26 points, Tyler Herro added 24 and the Heat shot 59.8% — a season-best, by far — on the way to topping the Memphis Grizzlies 138-119 on Wednesday night.
“We put together 48 minutes of Miami Heat basketball — getting stops, running in transition and sharing the ball,” Adebayo said.
Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Max Strus had 12, Caleb Martin finished with 11 and Kevin Love and Gabe Vincent each had 10 for the Heat.
Miami set a season high for points, and it was only the sixth time — in 38 wins — that the Heat prevailed by more than 10 points. Before Wednesday, Miami’s most recent double-digit win was January 18 at New Orleans, a 124-98 romp. And the Heat hadn’t shot better than 54.5% in any game this season.
“We just haven’t had many of these this year,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 25 for Memphis, which got 14 from Luke Kennard, 12 from Ziaire Williams and 11 apiece from Desmond Bane and Tyus Jones.
“Credit to the Heat,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “They played great. They had an answer for everything we had. I thought our guys gave a great effort. The Heat were just on a different level.”
The Heat (38-33) moved within two games of idle Brooklyn (37-30) for the No. 6 spot — and a final guaranteed playoff berth — in the Eastern Conference. They ended the third quarter on a 14-0 run, their third-best run of unanswered points all season, and turned a 14-point lead into a 105-77 blowout going into the final 12 minutes.
Memphis (41-27) is now tied for second in the Western Conference with Sacramento, which won in Chicago.
It was the sixth game that Memphis has played without Ja Morant, who was given an eight-game suspension by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver earlier Wednesday as the penalty for “conduct detrimental to the league” — in this case, the All-Star guard “holding a firearm in an intoxicated state while visiting a Denver area nightclub” and live-streaming it on March 4.
The Grizzlies fell to 3-3 in Morant’s absence, but Jenkins said his team is learning plenty by having to use different lineups down the stretch — both because of the All-Star’s suspension and other injury issues.
“I’ve always known the togetherness of our team and the competitiveness of our team,” Jenkins said. “Guys are assuming different roles. We haven’t had that come to light throughout the season until this recent stretch. ... There are so many things that we’ve seen over the last couple weeks that are going to benefit us moving forward.”
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