Notebook: Grizzlies 103, Cavaliers 92



Posted Mar 8, 2013 11:43 PM

Brian Dulik, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Center Marc Gasol collected 22 points and eight rebounds, and point guard Mike Conley had 17 points and a game-high 11 assists as the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away for a 103-92 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Point guard Jerryd Bayless added 17 points off the bench for the Grizzlies, who won for the 11th time in their last 12 games. Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 24 points, while power forward Tristan Thompson had 10 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Memphis, which played without injured All-Star power forward Zach Randolph, outscored the Cavaliers 55-41 in the second half.

QUOTABLE: "Regardless of how we start, we seem to get better as the game goes on. It's definitely a confidence thing. Our offense feeds off our defense, and we were able to get out in transition in the second half."
-- Mike Conley

THE STAT: The Grizzlies snapped a seven-game losing streak at Quicken Loans Arena and improved to 3-13 all-time in Cleveland. Former Ohio State standout Conley -- a sixth-year pro -- savored his initial NBA victory in the state. "It's very special to finally win here because it's always tough to play in this building," he said. "For us to win and play this well in front of so many fans who supported me in college, it's really wonderful." Memphis' previous win in the arena came on Nov. 29, 2003, which was LeBron James' rookie season with the Cavaliers.

TURNING POINT: The Grizzlies outscored the Cavaliers 32-18 in the third quarter, taking the lead for good at 52-51 on a Conley layup. Gasol (10 points, two blocks), Conley (eight points, six assists), and power forward Ed Davis (eight points, six rebounds) combined for 26 points, eight boards and seven assists in the period, completely dominating their Cleveland counterparts. "It was pretty simple, we started attacking the basket better," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "In the second half, we got inside and we got to the basket."

QUOTABLE II: "We can run the offense through Mike, Tayshaun [Prince] or me, so we've got a lot of options, even without Zach. It doesn't mean you have to make a shot, it just means you just have to make a play."
-- Marc Gasol

HOT: The Grizzlies are 12-4 since trading shooting guard Rudy Gay to Toronto on Jan. 30. They acquired Prince and Austin Daye from the Pistons, and Davis from the Raptors in the three-team deal. ... Point guards Conley and Bayless amassed 34 points and 14 assists. ... Memphis has the fifth-best record in the NBA at 41-19. ... Prince rung up eight points, five rebounds, and a season-high seven assists. ... Cavaliers small forward Alonzo Gee made a 65-footer at the first-quarter buzzer. ... Irving is averaging 23.7 points and 5.8 assists in his last 26 games.

NOT: Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller had two points and one rebound in 18 minutes, giving him five points and five boards in 41 minutes since returning from a bout with the flu. ... Cleveland shooting guard Dion Waiters started and played 20 minutes in his return from the flu, but failed to make a basket in four tries. ... The Cavaliers are 12-19 at Quicken Loans Arena, which is the fourth-worst home record in the NBA. ... Cleveland center Marreese Speights shot 1-for-5 in 24 minutes in his first game against his former team.

QUOTABLE III: "Gasol is a hell of a player, simply put. He's an All-Star caliber player, and he played like it tonight. He did a great job of passing the ball -- hitting shots and hitting guys on the perimeter -- and being aggressive out there."
-- Kyrie Irving

GOOD MOVE: Free agent center Greg Oden was in attendance to support former high school and college teammate Conley, but was given a seat directly adjacent to the Cavaliers' bench -- seats that are normally used by Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert. It was a savvy gesture by the Cavaliers, who are one of the frontrunners to sign the former No. 1 overall draft pick this summer. Oden lives in Columbus.

BAD MOVE: Speights relished the opportunity to play against the Grizzlies, who dealt him to Cleveland on Jan. 22, but was completely out of sync. He had nine points, one board, and four fouls while being pushed around the paint by Gasol. "I know he was looking forward to going against Memphis because today was the earliest he's shown up for practice all year," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott quipped.

NOTABLE: Randolph (left ankle sprain) missed his third game in a row for the Grizzlies, while power forward Darrell Arthur (back, neck soreness) sat out his second straight contest. ... Longtime Pistons small forward Prince received a fairly loud chorus of boos when he was introduced with Memphis' starting lineup. Detroit has been Cleveland's top rival since the 2006 NBA playoffs. ... The Cavaliers listed Irving as "doubtful" earlier in the day with the flu, but he declared himself ready to play when he arrived at the arena. "I went to the doctor and got checked out, so everything is OK," Irving said. "This is what 13 hours of sleep will do for you."

UP NEXT: For the Grizzlies, Saturday vs. New Orleans, Tuesday @ Portland, Wednesday @ L.A. Clippers. For the Cavaliers, Sunday @ Toronto, Tuesday vs. Washington, Friday @ Dallas.