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Cavs Fall Just Short in the Opener


WRAP-UP

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.


FEATURED HIGHLIGHT

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.


TURNING POINT

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

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.


QUOTABLE

Jarrett Allen, on the Cavaliers big lineup …

”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.”


CALLS OF THE GAME

Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and Rafa Hernandez-Brito from Power 89.1.


UP NEXT

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.

Cavs vs. Grizzlies Postgame: Darius Garland

Cavs guard Darius Garland spoke with the media following Wednesday's loss against the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.

Cavs at Grizzlies - October 20, 2021

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Cavs vs. Grizzlies Postgame: Darius Garland

Cavs guard Darius Garland spoke with the media following Wednesday's loss against the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.
Oct 21, 2021  |  05:40

Cavs vs. Grizzlies Postgame: Evan Mobley

Cavs forward/center Evan Mobley spoke with the media following Wednesday's loss against the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.
Oct 21, 2021  |  06:10

Cavs vs. Grizzlies Postgame: Jarrett Allen

Cavs center Jarrett Allen spoke with the media following Wednesday's loss against the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.
Oct 21, 2021  |  04:22

Cavs vs. Grizzlies Postgame: J.B. Bickerstaff

Cavs Head Coach J.B. Bickerstaff spoke with the media following Wednesday's loss against the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.
Oct 21, 2021  |  08:48

Verizon Game Rewind - Cavs at Grizzlies

The Cavaliers traveled to Memphis on Wednesday to open the new season. The Grizzlies came out on top in an entertaining first game. Get the best plays here in the Game Rewind sponsored by Verizon.
Oct 20, 2021  |  04:35

Allen's Perfect Shooting Night Continues

Jarrett Allen thunders home a baseline jam in the fourth to continue his perfect shooting night, now at 11-11 on the night.
Oct 20, 2021  |  00:12

Okoro Fights Through Contact and Scores

Isaac Okoro gets another and-one to go, this time taking the contact just inside the paint and getting the basket to fall.
Oct 20, 2021  |  00:14

Lauri, Sexton Hit a Triple to Start the Third Quarter

Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton each hit a triple on the first two Cavs possessions of the second half to cut into the Grizzlies lead.
Oct 20, 2021  |  00:19

Okoro Euro Steps and Scores Through Contact

Isaac Okoro uses his speed on the break and busts out a Euro Step to get around his defender and scores a lay-up while getting fouled.
Oct 20, 2021  |  00:24

Mobley Gets the Block, Rewarded with a Dunk on the Other End

Evan Mobley shows off his skills in his first NBA game. He collects a block on the defensive end and runs the floor to get rewarded with an open-court dunk in the second quarter.
Oct 20, 2021  |  00:12

Feat. Highlight: Cavs Run Perfect Fastbreak

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.
Oct 20, 2021  |  00:15

Sexton's No-Look Leads to Allen Dunk

Collin Sexton fires a quick, no-look pass inside to Jarrett Allen who throws it down with one hand early in the contest.
Oct 20, 2021  |  00:10

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