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Wrap-Up – Aside from last week’s hiccup against Atlanta, the Cavaliers have been a very dangerous team on the corner of Huron and Ontario, and they kept their mojo rolling on Sunday afternoon – going wire-to-wire over the shorthanded Grizzlies for the 105-91 win.
Sporting the second-best record in the rough-and-tumble Western Conference, the Grizzlies came to Cleveland without the services of their talented big man, Zach Randolph and their top perimeter defender, Tony Allen. But they got no pity from the Wine and Gold, who jumped out to an 18-4 lead and never looked back.
LeBron James led both teams with 25 points and 11 assists, going 9-for-15 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from long-distance. Dion Waiters came off the bench to follow up with 21 points in 28 minutes, going 9-for-16 from the field. Kyrie Irving tied a career-high with 12 assists to go with 17 points.
Anderson Varejao netted 12 of his 18 points before intermission, adding seven boards and a pair of helpers. And Shawn Marion tied a season-high with 11 points, going 5-of-6 from the floor in the win.
The Cavaliers shot 61 percent from the floor while holding Memphis to 45 percent, including 6 percent (1-of-16) from long-distance. Paced by LeBron and Kyrie, Cleveland had 34 assists on 46 made shots.
Turning Point – As the Cavs have done often this season, and for the second time this week, they jumped a team early at The Q – running out to a double-digit edge halfway through the first quarter and holding a team at bay the rest of the way. Memphis trimmed Cleveland’s edge to four at the end of the third quarter and began the fourth down just five. But the Cavs started the final period on a 10-2 to run to essentially put the game out of reach down the stretch.
By the Numbers – 15-3 … Cleveland’s all-time record against the Grizzlies at The Q. The Cavaliers have now won eight of nine and 11 of their last 14 contests at Quicken Loans Arena. In that nine-game stretch, the Cavs are outscoring their opponents by an average of 8.8 points per game (104.8 to 96.8), while shooting .499 from the floor and handing out 25.5 assists. The Wine and Gold are also 8-0 at home when LeBron James tops the 22-point plateau.
Quotable – LeBron James, on Shawn Marion, the team’s starting two-guard one week ago who spent much of Sunday’s game defending seven-footers …
“That’s what it has to be about, that’s what team sports have to be about. It’s not (about) ‘me’ – it’s about the team. ‘Trix is one of those guys – you’re looking at a multi-time All-Star that’s now fitting into a role – and you look at the other side too in Vince Carter. It’s not about ‘you.’ It’s about the team. And if you’re not about the team … you should play golf.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers wrap up their five-game homestand on Tuesday night against the injury-plagued and defensively-challenged Timberwolves. After that they travel for a Sunshine State back-to-back, beginning with a marquee matchup on Christmas Day in Miami. On Friday night, they travel north to Orlando, where they’ll take on a Magic team that they topped by 32 one month earlier at The Q. On Sunday afternoon, the Wine and Gold welcome the struggling Pistons to Cleveland for the first time this season before traveling to Atlanta for a Tuesday night matchup against the Hawks.