Erik Spoelstra called it a game for “basketball aficionados.” If “aficionados” is code for “catatonics,” then the Heat’s coach was onto something.

In somewhat of an enigma, it was arguably the best ugly game the Heat has played this season. Statistically, LeBron James had one of his worst scoring efforts of the season, but the Heat eked out a 98-91 victory Friday night against the talented and miserly Memphis Grizzlies.

Hey, every game of a 13-game winning streak can’t be a crown jewel. This one was a gem, but unpolished. Consider: The game between evenly matched but contrasting teams was just the eighth time in NBA history that two teams with winning streaks of at least eight had faced one another.

“He made winning plays in the fourth quarter,” Spoelstra said of James. “He controlled the game playing de facto point guard with Norris [Cole] and Mario [Chalmers] out midway through the fourth quarter.”

The Grizzlies entered AmericanAirlines Arena riding an eight-game winning streak, but Miami held Memphis to 42.9 percent shooting. James had an off night overall, but he drained a clutch three-pointer from the corner with 24.2 seconds remaining to give the Heat a four-point lead. From there, James secured the lead at the free-throw line, making 5 of 6 attempts in the final 17 seconds.

“I’ve got confidence I’m going to knock it down, just like all the other ones I’ve missed,” James said. “I had confidence in those, too, but they just [didn’t] go down. That’s how the ball goes sometimes. But I’m always confident in my next shot; [Dwyane Wade] gave me a great pass, and I was able to knock it down.”

James went 4 of 14 from the field for 18 points, but for much of the fourth quarter his streak of 475 consecutive games with at least 10 points seemed in jeopardy. He had four points entering the final period but muscled his way to the rim and through the Grizzlies’ powerful backcourt for 14 points in the fourth quarter. James’ season low is15 points.

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