Final Dime: Grizzlies 112, Cavaliers 105
Ramon Sessions drives for two of his 20 points in Friday's loss in Memphis.
Cleveland clawed their way to a rare seven-point halftime lead and ran a beautiful full-court play to take a one-point edge after three quarters. But the Grizzlies opened the final quarter with a 13-0 lead, and the Wine and Gold never recovered – dropping the 112-105 decision at the FedEx Forum.
The Cavaliers got into the NBA record books – not the way they wanted to – dropping their 23rd straight ballgame, tying the 1997-98 Nuggets and the Vancouver version of the franchise that topped them on Friday night.
Byron Scott’s young squad played some of its best basketball of the season in the first half – led by J.J. Hickson, who notched 20 of his game-high 31 before intermission.
Hickson had his best game of the season – and probably his career – going 11-for-21 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the stripe. J.J. led everyone with 15 boards, adding two assists and a blocked shot.
Ramon Sessions double-up as well, following up with 20 points and a game-high 11 assists. Antawn Jamison was his solid self, notching 19 points, six boards, two steals and a pair of blocks.
Anthony Parker came off the bench to tally 18 points, going 4-for-5 from long distance. Unfortunately, his teammates were a combined 2-for-13 from beyond the arc. Christian Eyenga was just 1-of-4 from three-point range, but still tallied 10 points – his second straight game in double-figures.
With Sessions as the only healthy true point guard, the Cavaliers committed 18 turnovers, with Memphis scoring 28 points off those miscues.
The Cavaliers have a quick turnaround, returning to The Q on Saturday night to face the Blazers.
2. Friday marked the second time this season J.J. Hickson’s notched 31 points – doing so earlier this season against Atlanta. Hickson had just five boards in that game, but with his 14 boards on Friday is now averaging 12.1 rebounds per contest over his last eight.
3. The Cavs last regulation win was against Memphis on November 27. The starting lineup for that game was Joey Graham, J.J. Hickson, Anderson Varejao, Mo Williams and Anthony Parker. Manny Harris and Samardo Samuels were inactive and Christian Eyenga was in Erie.
4. Antawn Jamison scored on a sweet give-and-go to end the third quarter with Cleveland up, 84-83. It was the first time the Wine and Gold have led after three quarters since Jan. 24 against the Nets.
5. Friday’s game marked the 17th time this season – and second in the last three games – that the Cavaliers shot 81 percent or better from the free throw line – going 23-for-26 against the Grizzlies.
6. Jamario Moon got his longest run in almost three weeks – almost 21 minutes – canning both shots he attempted to go with three boards and a blocked shot.
7. Anthony Parker has been feeling better in February – averaging 17.5 points per game so far this month.
8. Daniel Gibson was excused by the team to return to Cleveland to attend to a personal matter.
9. Ramon Sessions notched his third double-double of the season. Over his last 20 games, the former Nevada star is averaging 14.7 points and 9.8 assists per contest.
10. Friday’s game was the Cavaliers’ 29th road contest of the season – tops in the league so far. Memphis is second with 28. Cleveland is home for nine of the next 10 and the last seven to finish the month on February.