Postgame Report: Grizzlies fall to the Cavaliers 94-90
Key Stat of the Night
- Gorgui Dieng connected on a dunk with (4:37) remaining in the fourth quarter on an assist from Dillon Brooks to take an 88-84 lead. Following the dunk from Dieng, the Cavaliers held the Grizzlies without another made field goal for the remainder of the game. Jonas Valanciunas did knock down two free-throws with (1:30) remaining in the game, but it would not be enough as Memphis fell 94-90.
Key Run of the Night
- The Grizzlies lead by four points at 88-84 following the basket from Dieng with (4:37) remaining in the game. The Cavaliers ripped off a 10-2 run during the remaining (4:36). The winning basket came from Cedi Osman with (2:27) to play as he connected on a 25-foot 3-points field goal to give the Cavaliers and 91-88 advantage.
The Memphis Grizzlies dropped the first game of a home back-to-back to the Cleveland Cavaliers 94-90 Thursday night inside FedExForum.
Both teams got off to a slow start shooting under 40.0 percent the first four minutes. The Grizzlies were able to shift the tide when the bench unit, led by Grayson Allen and Desmond Bane, checked into the game. Bane and Allen hit three quick 3-pointers to spark a 15-6 run to put the Grizzlies up 24-19 to end the first quarter. Allen finished the first quarter with six points while shooting 2-of-4 from the three.
After Gorgui Dieng hit a 3-pointer to begin the second quarter, the Cavaliers went on a quick 8-0 run to even things up at 27. Cleveland didn’t stop there, extending their run to 17-6 with just over seven minutes to play in the second quarter. The Grizzlies only found themselves down 46-45 going into the second half, despite only shooting 4-of-16 (25%) from three. The Cavaliers shot 9-of-19 (47.4%) from three. Brandon Clarke led the Grizzlies with 12 points and six rebounds at the break.
The Grizzles and the Cavaliers both came out at a much quicker pace, shooting 50.0 percent from the field midway through the third quarter. After only scoring one point in the first half, Dillon Brooks came out and scored seven points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field. In addition, Jonas Valanciunas added in five points in the third. The Grizzlies rough shooting night continued, only shooting 37.0 percent from the field to finish out the quarter, but led over other Cavaliers 69-67.
Kyle Anderson began the fourth quarter scoring eight points while going 2-of-2 from the three to extend the Grizzlies lead 83-77 midway through the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers refused to go away. Cleveland took the lead in the game at 91-88 after Cedi Osman’s fourth three-pointer of the night with two and a half minutes to play in the game. After an Isaac Okoro dunk with 10 seconds left, the Grizzlies had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Bane’s three-point attempt fell short. Despite having a season-high 14 steals, the Grizzlies could not overcome the Cavaliers connecting on 43.0 percent of their 3-pointers. The Grizzlies outrebounded the Cavaliers 48 to 37.
Valanciunas led the Grizzlies with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks in 28 minutes. The double-double gives Valanciunas his eighth-straight to start the season. Clarke finishes the game with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting and nine rebounds. Anderson finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, and one block. Eight of Anderson’s points came in the fourth quarter. De’Anthony Melton led the bench with eight points, three assists, three steals, and one block.
Andre Drummond led the Cavilers with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and two steals. Larry Nance Jr. finished with 18 points, four assists, and three steals. Nance also hit a season-high in threes with four on the night. JaVale McGee Cleveland’s bench with 13 points and six rebounds.
The Grizzlies will finish their homestand tomorrow night, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. against the Brooklyn Nets, who will also be playing their second game of a back-to-back, inside FedExForum. Fans can watch the game on FOX Sports Southeast or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On Xavier Tillman Sr.:X is earning his minutes. I love the impact he makes when he’s out there on the floor. He’s got a great, disciplined mentality out there on both sides of the floor. Great playmaker on offense. Defensively, no matter what his matchup is, I think he’s doing all the right things to make it tough on the opposition. I just love his approach on that end of the ball and overall, just love the impact that he is making. That’s why he is earning more minutes.
On staying sharp despite a busy schedule, and how fatigue might have impacted turnovers tonight:I think [the Cavaliers] were super active. We didn’t play as we should against their pressure, and the more you actually play, the more you get into a rhythm. It’s still early in the season. I think we should be finding a sharpness through our play, and tonight we weren’t sharp at all.
On slow starts to games:[The starters] have to play better. The entire team tonight needs to play better. We expect them to play better than they have the last couple of games. We have faith in them to figure it out. Hopefully these last couple games are a reminder that we’ve got to look at ourselves and find ways to play better.
On finding a rhythm with the team:It’s been tough, clearly we just haven't had that much energy or fight in the fourth quarter. It is tough Ja Morant out, but with our team base, we’re built on being able to win games and finish games in the fourth quarter. We’re all pretty upset about that, but we have a big game tomorrow. It’s a really quick turnaround.
On the game:We need to do a lot of things. Today was a pretty bad game for us. We just have to bounce back. (We have to) play better offense, play better defense, and put better effort in the game. All of us included, me included, got to be doing a better job. Everybody.
On the team’s start to the season:We can find a lot of excuses, but it’s on us. Better concentration, better effort, and (we have) to be better locked in for the little things. Screens, waiting for the screens, rolling (off screens). The little things. The right timing and being on time.
- Jonas Valanciunas posted his eighth-consecutive double-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and three assists 28 minutes. Valanciunas has recorded 10+ points and 10+ rebounds in all eight games to start the season, marking the longest single-season double-double streak of his NBA career. Valanciunas now has ten-consecutive double-doubles dating back to the 2019-20 season.
- Valanciunas now owns the Grizzlies’ second-longest point-rebound double-double streak to start a season behind only Zach Randolph’s 11-game run to open the 2012-13 campaign.
- Brandon Clarke totaled 14 points (7-11 FG), nine rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes. Clarke has scored double-figures in six of the Grizzlies’ eight games.
- Kyle Anderson posted his sixth double-figure scoring game in the first eight games of the season. Anderson totaled 10 points, eight rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes.
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2020-21 Season Tickets can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. Single Game Tickets are available for purchase at the FedExForum Box Office, ticketmaster.com, online at grizzlies.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.