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On Monday night, the banged-up Cavaliers clawed hard in their first game back from an extended road trip. They simply ran out of ammo.
The Cavs led by a deuce midway through the fourth quarter, but the Grizzlies tied the affair at 86-apiece, untied the contest with a triple on their next possession and never looked back from there – hanging on for the 101-91 win at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
In what’s become a familiar story, the Wine & Gold went into another contest shorthanded – with Collin Sexton scratched just before game time. Missing his third straight game with an ankle injury, the Young Bull joined his fellow backcourt mate, Darius Garland, along with Kevin Love, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Kevin Porter Jr. and Dylan Windler on the shelf.
In the Grizzlies’ defense, they were also without a pair of young stars in Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.
Every member of the Cavs starting lineup notched double-figures in the loss – led by Andre Drummond, who notched his 11th straight double-double to start the 2020-21 season, finishing with 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting, adding a game-high 14 boards, three assists and a pair of blocks.
Damyean Dotson, who got the late nod when Sexton was scrapped just before tip-off with a nagging left ankle sprain, followed up with 14 points and a team-best six assists.
Cedi Osman added 14 points of his own, adding four assists, three boards and a pair of steals.
Larry Nance Jr. – who hit all seven attempts from the floor in last Thursday’s win over Memphis – drilled his first four shots of the night on Monday, finishing 5-of-7 from the field, drilling all three three-point attempts for 13 points to go with five boards, three assists and a pair of steals.
Isaac Okoro, the hero of last week’s win over the Grizz, followed up with 12 points, going 5-of-11 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from long-range, adding a team-best three steals in the loss.
The Cavaliers shot 45 percent from the floor and committed 21 turnovers on the night, failing to hit the century mark for the eighth straight occasion.
Dillon Brooks led both squads, scoring 12 of his 21 points after halftime, going 6-of-14 from the floor overall. The Grizzlies, who shot 51 percent from the floor on the night, handed out 32 assists on 40 made baskets.
Miss any of the action? Find all the highlights and photos in the Game Tracker.
The rook grabs the loose ball and goes coast-to-coast for a monster poster jam in which his defender had no chance of blocking.
Desmond Bane’s floater late in the third quarter put the Grizzlies up 16 – 73-57 – but the Cavaliers just kept fighting, and less than five minutes into the fourth quarter had clawed their way back to tie the game at 81-apiece on Andre Drummond’s dunk.
Drummond gave Cleveland the lead on its next possession, but Kyle Anderson’s pullup jumper tied the game again at 86 with 5:19 to go. De’Anthony Melton’s bomb put the Grizzlies up three and the Cavs never grabbed the lead back from there.
By the Numbers – .857, 1.000 … Larry Nance Jr.’s shooting percentage from the floor (12-of-14) and from beyond the arc (7-of-7) in two games against the Grizzlies this season, averaging 15.5ppg in the process.
"Being shorthanded, we have to play the game near perfect as we can in the two areas that matter most. We’re gonna make some mistakes, we’re gonna miss some shots. But we have to compete every possession. We have to play unselfish every possession. That’s our identity, that’s our foundation and that’s what we have to do."
Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and Rafa Hernandez-Brito from Power 89.1.
After falling to the Grizzlies in their homecoming after a six-game trip, the Cavaliers wrap up the Western Conference back-to-back on Tuesday night, welcoming Donovan Mitchell, Jordan Clarkson and the Jazz to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cleveland wraps up its mini-homestand on Friday night, welcoming Julius Randle and the surprising Knicks to town before the Wine & Gold get back on the road – playing a pair of afternoon games against the Wizards in Washington, including an MLK Day matinee.
After the back-to-back contests in the Capitol, the Cavs return home for a two-game home set against the Nets.