Cavs Overcome Slow Start, Route Grizz in Memphis

LeBron Notches Triple-Double as Cavs Coast Down the Stretch
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Wrap-Up -- After a sluggish first quarter (directly after posting a sluggish fourth quarter the previous night at The Q), it looked like it might be another knock-down-drag-out affair at the Grindhouse.

But the Cavs hit the gas in the second quarter and never looked back – pulling ahead at half and blowing it open late in the third and cruising to the 112-89 win on Friday night in Memphis.

The Wine & Gold made it four straight on the road and five of their last six overall – sweeping the season series over the reeling Grizzlies, holding them to 40 points on 31 percent shooting in the second stanza and sending them to eighth straight defeat.

LeBron James, who still hasn’t missed a game all season, looked fresh in the second-half of the back-to-back – notching his 11th triple-double of the season and 66th of his illustrious career.

In 37 minutes of work, the four-time MVP tallied 18 points on 7-for-16 shooting, adding game-highs in rebounds (14) and assists (11).

One night after having their quietest collective night since being acquired at the Trade Deadline against the Wizards, all four new Cavaliers contributed in a big way on Friday.

George Hill tied for the team-lead with 18 points, going 5-for-11 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the stripe, adding two boards and leading Cleveland with a pair of blocks. Rodney Hood followed up with 10 points, going 2-of-5 from long-range, adding three boards, two assists and a steal.

Jordan Clarkson bounced back from a left eye laceration in the first half, got stitched up at halftime and returned to score 12 of his 14 points after intermission, going 6-for-13 from the floor, including 2-of-6 from deep, adding four boards and a pair of assists.

Larry Nance Jr. was outstanding on both ends – doing a little bit of everything despite battling early foul trouble. On the night, the scion of the Cavalier great finished with 15 points, on 6-of-11 shooting, adding eight boards, two assists, a game-high four steals and two blocks.

Cedi Osman had a nice bounce-back game on Friday night; going 4-for-5 from the floor for 10 points after going a combined 4-for-13 for nine points in his previous two outings.

George Hill


Balanced scoring attack leads Wine & Gold to victory at the Grindhouse.

The Cavaliers turned up the heat defensively in the second half and pushed the pace at every opportunity – outscoring Memphis on the fastbreak, 32-18, while causing 23 turnovers that they converted into 35 points.

Four Grizzlies starters notched double-figures, but no one caused any serious damage. Tyreke Evans doubled-up with 15 points and 10 assists and JaMychal Green chipped in with 15 points and 10 boards.

Turning Point -- After their rough start, the Wine & Gold immediately came off the ropes in the second quarter – outscoring Memphis, 34-22, and taking a five-point edge into the locker room.

But it was the final four minutes of the third quarter that turned a tight contest into a one-sided affair that allowed the Cavs to rest some starters with a big showdown against San Antonio on tap for Sunday afternoon.

Cedi Osman ignited the flurry – canning back-to-back three-pointers to put the Cavs up seven, 74-67. Larry Nance Jr. and George Hill were perfect in four attempts from the stripe, Jordan Clarkson drilled back-to-back treys of his own and LeBron James slammed home the final points of the third period – capping the 14-4 run and putting Cleveland up two touchdowns heading into the fourth.

By the Numbers.933 … Cavaliers’ combined free throw shooting percentage in two games against the Grizzlies this season – going 42-of-45 from the stripe. Cleveland was 21-of-22 on Friday night, marking the ninth time this season they’ve hit on 90 percent or better from the line.

QuotableLeBron James, on Friday night’s bounce-back win in Memphis …

”Coming in here, we just wanted to play with a lot of energy. We didn’t start the game off well, but we picked it up – had the energy, the pace that we wanted, got the stops that we wanted. It was a good win for us.”

Up Next -- After getting back in the win column on Friday night in Memphis – and playing five of their last seven on the road – the Cavaliers can now unpack their bags and get settled in for a while. They now prepare for a well-earned five-game homestand beginning on Saturday afternoon with a big matchup against the Spurs. On Tuesday night they wrap up the month of February against the Nets and on Thursday they begin March with a visit by Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and the Sixers. Next Saturday night, the Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets make their lone visit to Cleveland before the homestand wraps up the following Monday against Blake Griffin and the Pistons.

Calls of the Game

#CavsGrizzlies Postgame Wrap-Up presented by Rocket Mortgage

Cavs.com's Fred McLeod checks in from Bluff City to wrap-up the Wine & Gold's victory against the Grizzlies on Friday.

Cavs at Grizzlies - February 23, 2018

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#CavsGrizzlies Postgame Wrap-Up presented by Rocket Mortgage

Cavs.com's Fred McLeod checks in from Bluff City to wrap-up the Wine & Gold's victory against the Grizzlies on Friday.
Feb 24, 2018  |  02:52

#CavsGrizzlies Postgame: LeBron James - February 23, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Friday's 112-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.
Feb 23, 2018  |  03:06

#CavsGrizzlies Postgame: George Hill - February 23, 2018

Cavaliers guard George Hill spoke with the media following Friday's 112-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.
Feb 23, 2018  |  02:00

#CavsGrizzlies Postgame: Larry Nance Jr. - February 23, 2018

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr spoke with the media following Friday's 112-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.
Feb 23, 2018  |  04:24

#CavsGrizzlies Postgame: Jordan Clarkson - February 23, 2018

Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson spoke with the media following Friday's 112-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.
Feb 23, 2018  |  02:51

#CavsGrizzlies Postgame: Coach Lue - February 23, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Friday's 112-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.
Feb 23, 2018  |  02:50

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 112, Grizzlies 89

LeBron James notches his 11th triple-double of the season with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists as the Cavaliers top the Grizzlies 112-89.
Feb 23, 2018  |  01:55

LeBron James Notches Triple-Double vs. Grizzlies

LeBron James notches a triple-double with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in the Cavaliers victory over the Grizzlies.
Feb 23, 2018  |  02:02

#CavsGrizzlies On-Court Postgame: LeBron James - February 23, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with FOX Sports Ohio's Allie Clifton following Friday's 112-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.
Feb 23, 2018  |  02:08

Larry Nance Jr. Strong with the And-One

Larry Nance Jr. goes up strong and finishes through contact.
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:14

LBJ Throws the Hammer Down

The Wine & Gold secure the long rebound and LeBron James throws the hammer down at the other end.
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:10

JR Drops it off to LBJ for the Dunk

JR Smith gets the steal at one end and takes it down to the other where he drops off the pretty dime to LeBron James for the dunk.
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:10

Beautiful Basketball by the Wine & Gold

A steal leads to a series of dynamic dishes resulting in a George Hill long-range jumper from the corner.
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:18

Jeff Green Dimes LBJ for the Dunk

Jeff Green finds LeBron James with the backcut dime for the dunk.
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:09

LBJ Throws the Long High-Handoff to Nance Jr.

LeBron James feeds Larry Nance Jr. with the alley-oop for the long high-handoff finish.
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:06

Featured Highlight: LBJ Lobs Larry Nance Jr.

LeBron James and Larry Nance Jr. work the pick-and-roll to perfection ending in an alley-oop slam.
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:15

Hill and Clarkson Get Defensive

George Hill and Jordan Clarkson deny the Grizzlies at the basket in this Goodyear 'More Driven' highlight.
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:31

LBJ Soars for the Slam

LeBron James blows past the Grizzlies defense in transition and skies for the slam.
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:16