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Posey hits game-winning shot as Heat top Grizzlies

Dec 3, 2006 - 4:08 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Jason Williams started the game on fire. James Posey finished it off against their former team.

Posey nailed a desperation 3-pointer from the left corner as time expired and Williams set a team record with 13 of his 14 assists in the first half as the Miami Heat held off the Memphis Grizzlies for a 98-97 victory.

Dwyane Wade scored 23 points for the Heat, who shot a blistering 51 percent (35-of-69) from the field and outrebounded the Grizzlies, 41-35.

But Miami blew a 22-point first-half lead and needed the heroics of Posey, whom they acquired from Memphis in the summer of 2005. After shooting 61 percent over the first three quarters, the Heat went cold in the final period.

"We'll take it. There's no doubt that (Memphis) played well enough to win," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "In the fourth quarter, we shot the ball poorly. We were 4-of-18, and it took a miracle."

With Memphis leading, 97-95, with two seconds remaining, rookie Rudy Gay missed a free throw before he and Dorell Wright battled for the loose ball, creating a jump ball. Wright won the tap and Miami called timeout with 1.8 seconds left.

Williams inbounded to the left corner to Posey, who turned and hit a miraculous 3-pointer over 6-8 Mike Miller as he fell into the Grizzlies' bench.

"It felt good," Posey said. "I had a good look for the most part, and it's just one of those things. It's a play we work on in practice and it worked for us."

"It's first guy (open), really," Riley said. "We were going to curl a couple of guys and then try to bring Dwyane into the high post and get something out of it. But Jason said (Wade) wasn't open and he threw it to Posey. He just made one falling away."

Recovering from offseason knee surgery, Williams - acquired in the same deal that landed Posey - scored 13 points and broke Steve Smith's franchise record of 12 assists in a half set January 23, 1994 vs. Washington. However, his biggest pass of the night was on the final play.

"On out-of-bounds plays, everybody's an option," Williams said. "I told (Posey) before we walked out there that he was going to be the one open."

Just 44 seconds into the third quarter, Wade picked up his fourth foul and he spent the entire period on the bench. The superstar guard returned in the fourth quarter and scored 12 points, finishing 8-of-18 from the floor and 7-of-10 from the line overall.

"It was just a matter of time, and you've got to give guys credit for sticking with it," Wade said. "When things looked bad, we kept sticking with it and sticking with it. We won one of those games that can change a season. That was a change-a-season kind of shot (by Posey)."

The Heat took their largest lead at 49-27 on Antoine Walker's 3-pointer with 5:42 left in the second quarter before the Grizzlies came alive.

"I just knew we had a nice, comfortable lead," Williams said. "I also knew (Memphis) wasn't going to quit. They're never going to quit. That's just the way they play. They're scrappy, and I was just glad we got the win."

Memphis went on numerous runs in the second half to get back in the game. Trailing, 59-47, entering the third quarter, the Grizzlies went on a 11-2 run, capped by Miller's jumper that made it 61-58.

However, they did not take their first lead until Chucky Atkins nailed a 3-pointer to make it 92-91 with 1:47 left.

"We gave ourselves a chance in the second half by minimizing turnovers and we had a much better defensive effort," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "They were shooting over 60 percent in the first half, so to get it down to 51 percent at the end of the game, we must have been doing something good."

Miller scored 22 points for the Grizzlies, who shot 45 percent (34-of-76). The 2006 Sixth Man Award winner netted 15 points in the fourth quarter and drew the defensive assignment on Posey on the final play.

"That was a tough shot," Miller said. "I don't know if he looked at the hoop. We all chased it. It hurts because we're trying to find wins."

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