Final Dime: Cavaliers 92, Grizzlies 86
J.J. Hickson scored six of his 16 points in the final three minutes of Saturday's win.
David Liam Kyle
Three days after sinking the Bucks with a 15-footer at the buzzer, Mo Williams scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half, propelling the Wine and Gold to their third straight home win – a 92-86 win over the Grizzlies on Saturday night in Cleveland.
The Cavaliers dug themselves another hole on Saturday night – falling behind by 16 points midway through the second quarter. But behind Mo’s marksmanship, the Wine and Gold caught fire, running off 16 straight points to take an eight-point edge after three quarters. Williams was a one-man wrecking crew in that period, notching a dozen points, including a pair of three-pointers that sent the sold-out crowd into a frenzy.
“(Mo)’s playing extremely well, playing on a lot of confidence,” praised Coach Scott. “He knows the offense and he knows where he can kind of exploit the defense at times, and he’s just taking advantage of it. Tonight he was fantastic.”
“I think collectively as a group on the defensive end, we were all in tune,” deflected Williams. “Once you get those things, it’s easy to look at the statistical things and say what happened, but it was a total team effort.”
Memphis managed to cool off Mo and the Cavaliers in the fourth – holding Cleveland without a field goal until the 3:04 mark of the final period. But at that point, it was time for J.J. Hickson to break out of a two-week funk.
Hickson’s two straight buckets tied the game at 84-84 with 1:34 to play. At that point, Mo channeled his heroics from Wednesday night – canning a three-pointer to put the Cavaliers up three, 87-84.
After another Hickson score, Mike Conley’s free throws brought Memphis back to within three, but Mo sank a short floater with 6.5 remaining to put the victory on ice.
For the night, Mo went 10-for-21 from the floor, including 4-of-6 from long-distance. The eighth-year pro doubled-up with a game-high 12 assists, adding five boards, a pair of steals and a blocked shot.
Hickson has been mired in a slump since the Cavaliers faced Indiana at The Q two weeks ago, but he began shaking out of it in the second half against Memphis. He held Zach Randolph to just 13 points on 6-for-16 shooting on the defensive end. On the offensive end, Hickson was virtually unstoppable in the closing moments and finished 6-of-11 from the floor for 16 points and five boards.
Joey Graham completed the Cavaliers in double-figures, netting 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting. Graham has now tallied double-digits in three of the four games since he’s assumed a starting role.
Anderson Varejao scored only three points, but was huge in the paint – tallying a game-high 11 rebounds to go with a pair of steals and blocked shots.
Both teams shot 42 percent from the floor and turned in 21 assists, but the Cavaliers outran Memphis on the break, 24-8, and made twice as many trips, 22-11, to the free throw line.
2. The Wine and Gold have now won seven in a row at The Q vs. Memphis. The Grizzlies’ last win in Cleveland was an overtime victory on November 29, 2003. The Cavaliers have won nine of their last 10 over Memphis.
3. On Saturday night, the Cavaliers unveiled their new mascot, Sir C.C. The swashbuckling new member of the Cavaliers game entertainment family was introduced in the first quarter.
4. The Cavaliers blocked a season-high nine shots as a team in Saturday’s win.
5. In a possible attempt to snap out of his slump, the third-year forward sported a pair of bright gold shoes. There’s no denying it worked, with the third-year forward notching double-figures for the first time in his last seven outings.
6. Mo finished with a season-high 12 assists on Saturday night. Williams scored 12 points himself in the third quarter, draining a pair of three-pointers. He also registered the assists on both of Joey Graham’s third-quarter bombs.
7. Over his last three games, Mo Williams is averaging 23.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per outing.
8. Ramon Sessions beamed pregame about his U. of Nevada football team knocking Boise State out of contention in a late night Friday thriller. Sessions landed with the team after the Orlando game and caught the very end of the BCS-busting classic. But even Sessions had to admit he “felt bad for” the Boise State kicker.
9. Saturday’s win was the Cavaliers first over a Western Conference team this season.
10. After starting the season 1-4 at home, the Cavaliers have won their last three at The Q.