Social Nav Bar Overrides - v2019
Global Sub Nav - v2019
Blank Spacer - 20px
Wednesday’s season opener in Memphis was a case of a contest that wasn’t as close as the final score might indicate.
After trailing by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter, the Cavs clawed their way back to within a single point with 2:33 to play, but the Grizzlies closed the contest on a 15-5 run to hand Cleveland the 132-121 defeat at the FedEx Forum.
Despite the loss, the Wine & Gold have to be pleased with much of what they saw on Wednesday night – from Evan Mobley’s incredibly impressive rookie debut to Jarrett Allen’s perfection from the floor to the outstanding assist total as a team, led by their point guard duo.
The Cavs had a strong third quarter, outscoring Memphis by eight and nearly erasing a double-digit halftime lead. But the Grizzlies scored the first 10 points of the fourth period to take a two-touchdown lead. Cleveland continued to chip away until Collin Sexton’s triple got it back to within a point.
Ja Morant would score seven of his game-high 37 points over the next 48 seconds to help Memphis pull away for the win.
Jarrett Allen led the Cavaliers with 25 points, going a perfect 11-for-11 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the stripe, adding four boards, three steals and three blocks.
His young frontcourt mate, Evan Mobley, was almost as impressive – considering the 20-year-old was making his NBA debut. Looking utterly unfazed, the rookie finished with 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting, adding nine boards, six assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
Collin Sexton added 17 points of his own, going 7-of-13 from the floor, including 2-of-6 from long-range. Lauri Markkanen, who remained in the starting lineup, also notched double-figures with 10 points, adding nine boards in the loss.
Darius Garland scored 11 of his 13 points and handed out five of his game-high 12 assists in the fourth quarter – going 3-for-5 from deep in the final period.
Ricky Rubio doubled-up off the bench – finishing with 12 points and 10 assists. Cedi Osman led all reserves with 15 points, going 5-of-6 from the floor, drilling all three triples he attempted in 17 minutes of work.
Miss any of the action? Find all the highlights and photos in the Game Tracker.
After a Grizzlies miss, the Cavs get out on the run with a series of quick passes on the break that ends with a Darius Garland assist to Jarrett Allen who dunks it.
Wednesday’s contest was a game of runs – with the Grizzlies using big surges to start the second and fourth quarters and the Cavaliers owning the first part of the third.
Memphis looked like it was ready to pull away in the final period, running out to a 14-point edge with 9:27 to play in regulation. But Darius Garland got hot from there, drilling three threes over the next five minutes.
Lauri Markkanen’s triple with just over three minutes to play got Cleveland to within four and Collin Sexton’s bomb got the Cavs even closer. But they couldn’t get over the hump from there.
By the Numbers - 38 … total assists that the Cavaliers piled up on Wednesday night – their most in a game since March 2016 against Denver. (Cleveland only committed 10 turnovers in Wednesday’s loss.)
Ricky Rubio and Darius Garland became the first Cavs set of teammates to record double-figure assists in a single game since LeBron James and Kyrie Irving did so against Minnesota in February 2017.
”We have a lot of switchability. We can switch two through three, three through five. We can defend almost every single position with a big lineup. There is just a lot of versatility on both ends of the court.”
Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and Rafa Hernandez-Brito from Power 89.1.
After dropping a difficult decision on Wednesday night in Memphis, the Cavaliers come home for a weekend back-to-back – welcoming the Hornets to town for the home opener on Friday followed by a visit from Trae Young and the Hawks on Saturday.
The Cavaliers then embark on a difficult five-game West Coast junket beginning on Monday night in Denver, followed by meetings against the Lakers, Clippers and Suns before closing out the roadie the following Monday in Charlotte.