Grizz Grind Out Win Over Cavs
Wrap-Up – The third quarter has been the Cavaliers’ Achilles heel during their recent homestand, and it tripped them up again on Friday night, as the Grizzlies took it to Cleveland after intermission and held on for the 103-92 win at The Q.
Cleveland led by three at halftime, but the league’s top defensive team clamped down in the third period – holding the Cavs to 29 percent from the floor while shooting 62 percent themselves. Memphis’ Marc Gasol was 5-for-6 from the floor in the third and the Grizzlies outscored the Wine and Gold in the paint, 18-2. Cleveland tried to replicate Wednesday’s comeback – cutting the Grizzlies’ lead to four points with 5:37 to play, but Jerryd Bayless and Mike Conley combined to put the game on ice. The duo combined to go 8-for-10 from the floor in the fourth quarter.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 24 points, going 11-for-21 from the floor. Tristan Thompson doubled-up with 10 points and 10 boards and Alonzo Gee added a dozen points – including a 68-foot heave that drew nothing but net to end the first quarter. C.J. Miles rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures, netting 13 points off the bench.
Turning Point – After a sluggish first half by both squads, the Grizzlies came out of the locker room on a 16-3 run that turned a three-point Cavaliers’ edge into a 10-point deficit midway through the quarter. Cleveland eventually trailed by a dozen points in the third and spent all of the final period trying to dig themselves out of a hole.
Game Ball – C.J. Miles – After a strong fourth quarter against his old club on Wednesday, Miles again tried to spark the Cavs in the final period, netting seven of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. The eight-year veteran went 5-for-10 from the floor, leading the Wine and Gold with three steals and adding a blocked shot.
By the Numbers – 22 … double-doubles for Tristan Thompson this season – his 16th in his last 36 games. He had just nine all of last year.
Quotable – Tristan Thompson, on the Cavaliers struggles coming out of the halftime locker room …
”Everyone knew the third quarter would be key for us, but talk is cheap. You have to go out there with a sense of urgency and a sense of fight. We clearly didn’t do that tonight.”
Up Next – After wrapping up a five-game homestand on Friday, the Cavs travel to Toronto for a Sunday evening affair. Next week, the Wine and Gold welcome the Wizards on Tuesday night then hit the road for a Texas two-step. On Friday evening, they head to Dallas for a matchup with the Mavs and the following night, it’s a meeting with the Spurs in San Antonio.