Social Nav Bar Overrides - v2019
Global Sub Nav - v2019
Blank Spacer - 20px
As was the case in the previous two losses on the trip, the third quarter proved to be the Wine & Gold’s Achilles heel on Friday night in Memphis.
After leading at intermission, the Grizzlies proceeded out outscore Cleveland, 38-20, in the third – putting the Cavs behind the eight-ball as they tried to rally back in the fourth. In the end, Memphis had just enough at the finish line to take the 113-109 win and split the season series.
The Cavaliers got excellent production off their bench and Collin Sexton went off for 28 points as the Cavaliers dropped their third straight on the extended roadie, which wraps up on Saturday night in Chicago.
The game was billed as a big head-to-head matchup between two of the most electric rookie point guards in the league – Ja Morant and Darius Garland – but it was actually the other guards – Sexton and Dillon Brooks – who did most of the damage.
Sexton topped the 20-point plateau for the third time in his last four games – leading both teams with 28 points, going 11-for-25 from the floor, including 3-of-8 from deep, adding six assists in the loss.
Brooks led Memphis with 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-7 from long-range.
Kevin Love followed up with 19 points, going 5-of-12 from the floor and 9-of-13 from the stripe, adding nine boards and a pair of assists. Garland was the only other Cavalier starter in double-figures with 11 points, but he struggled from the floor, going just 4-of-12 to go with six assists.
Cleveland’s bench was very good on Friday night.
Larry Nance Jr. had perhaps his best game of the season, finishing with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting, adding six boards and a pair of steals. Alfonzo McKinnie posted his first double-double as a Cavalier, adding 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting to go with a team-high 10 boards. And John Henson was sold once again – pitching in with eight points, five boards and a pair of assists.
Tristan Thompson finished with three points and eight boards, but was tossed in the third quarter, picking up his second technical after smacking Jae Crowder on the rear end while at the free throw line.
Morant did finish with 16 points and a game-high eight assists while Jonas Valanciunas led both squads with 18 boards and four blocks.
Kevin Love hits Darius Garland with a behind-the-back dime before DG cans the off-kilter three ball.
The Cavaliers led by double-figures in the first half and took a two-point lead into intermission, but the third proved to be their bugaboo once again.
In that third period, the Grizzlies reclaimed the lead less than a minute into the period, and the Cavaliers struggled to stop the bleeding from there. Memphis proceeded to take a 16-point edge after three quarters and upped it to 21 early in the fourth.
But the Cavaliers clawed back in the fourth, going on a 16-4 run to get to within striking distance. They would eventually cut the lead to four on Kevin Love’s three free throws with 37 seconds to play, but could get no closer.
5,233 … career rebounds that Tristan Thompson has pulled down over the course of his career, passing Brad Daugherty and moving into the franchise’s all-time top three.
Thompson ranks 2nd all-time in offensive rebounds (2,055) – trailing only Zydrunas Ilgauskas (2,336) – is 4th in defensive rebounds (3,178) and now trails only LeBron James (6,190) and Big Z (5,904) in total rebounds.
Coach John Beilein, on the team bouncing back after Tristan Thompson was ejected …
"Just overall the whole team – I think Tristan is such a leader, I think people were in the fight a little bit for him and just in that fourth quarter, we really executed on offense, and we really executed on defense, and it just gave us a chance."
Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and 87.7 La Mega's Rafa Hernandez-Brito.
The Cavaliers wrap up their six-game, 11-day trip on Saturday night, traveling to the Windy City for a Central Division showdown against Zach LaVine and the Bulls.
The Wine & Gold return home for a well-earned three-game homestand, beginning with an MLK Day matinee against the Knicks at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Bradley Beal and the Wizards roll in for a Thursday night affair followed by a visit from the Bulls on Saturday.