The Memphis Grizzlies have had a long break to rest some players, get a little more practice, and ultimately try to get a few more wins under their belts. They had lost 7 straight coming into tonights matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Marc Gasol started the first quarter by dropping the first buckets for Memphis and they jumped out to an early 6-2 lead. The Grizzlies were able to capitalize on turnovers by the Cavaliers and stretch that lead out to 11-3 with just over 8 minutes to go in the first. The lead grew to ten as the Cavaliers were missed quite a few shots, while the Grizzlies hitting everything, getting a lot of things going towards the rim. The Grizzlies were shooting 70% from the floor mid way through the quarter.
Memphis cooled off and start missing a few shots, not many but enough the Cavaliers to take advantage. They were able to cut the lead down seven points after a huge Lebron James dunk. The Cavaliers continued to miss some wide open shots throughout that first quarter, shooting only 42 percent, while the Grizzlies shot 57 percent. The Grizzlies led after the first quarter by 7 points, 27-20.
The second quarte started pretty much like the first one ended. The Cavs continued to miss shots and the Grizzlies made just enough to hold onto the lead. Jordan Clarkson was sent ot the locker room after getting hit in the face by Andrew Harrison. LeBron James had 8 points, 5 assists, and 6 rebounds already in the second quarter. The Grizzlies team high scorers were Andrew Harrison and Dillon Brooks and somehow they still managed to lead by three points.
There was a lot of scoring in the second quarter and not a whole lot of defense. The Cavaliers continued to shoot badly, only 3-13 from beyond the arc this far into the game. They were able to tie the game up with just over a minute left to go in halftime, after a made three pointer. The Grizzlies turned the ball over to give them a chance to take the lead. The Cavaliers were able to take the lead on a J.R. Smith three pointer and were able to extend it with free throws from James. The Cavaliers led at halftime, 54-49.
The third quarter started with a turnover and an immediate dunk by LeBron James. Tyreke Evans decided to finally show up to the basketball game in the third and put the Grizzlies on his back for better or worse. They started to really struggle to play defense without fouling, sending the Cavaliers to the free throw line multiple times. They were able to keep the lead to only five points with just under seven points to go in the third. LeBron went on a mission in the third quarter. Marc Gasol, Dillon Brooks and Ben McLemore all took turns guarding him and none of it went well. Lebron James notched a triple double with just under 3 minutes left to go in the quarter. James was getting everyone of his teammates open for threes which opened up a 8 point lead for the Cavaliers. The Grizzlies continued to struggle keep Lebron out of the paint for the rest of the third quarter and got behind by 14 points.
The last quarter started with multiple turnovers in a row for the Grizzlies, but the fouls that the refs were calling was getting out of hand. They had called 45 fouls between the teams pretty early in the fourth quarter, there was no flow to the quarter and it took a long time to play four minutes. In those four minutes though, the Grizzlies could not make shots. The Grizzlies just couldn’t compete with the Cavaliers in the fourth quarter and to make it worse Tyreke Evans went off the court with an apparent injury. He was helped to the locker room and would not return to the game. The Grizzlies would drop their 8th straight game to the Cavaliers 112-89.
Memphis is back in action tomorrow night as they take on the Miami Heat.