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Report Card: Grizzlies grind out their 11th straight victory against Cavaliers

It was a playoff atmosphere inside FedEx Forum on Wednesday night.

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Cleveland Cavaliers v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Even without Donovan Mitchell on Wednesday night, you knew that the Cleveland Cavaliers were going to come out and give the Memphis Grizzlies their all.

That they did.

It was a game in which you wish the Grizzlies were in the Eastern Conference so that we could see this matchup more than twice a year. It’s a matchup you’d love to see come playoff time – as they’re two young, well coached, gritty teams that play their style of play, and give one another issues.

Last nights game was beautiful, but it was close... and the Grizzlies needed a close game. It had been awhile since they had to close one out on the final possession. The Grizzlies have now won 11 straight games, and appear to not be slowing down. Before we look ahead, let’s hand out some grades from last night’s thriller.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Desmond Bane - 25 points (8/17 FG, 5/8 3PT), 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 32 minutes

The Grizzlies have arguably the best backcourt in association. With Ja Morant and Desmond Bane dropping 49 points last night, it’s just a scary duo for opposing defenses.

Focusing on Desmond Bane’s performance last night, his creation for others off the dribble continues to grow each night. We already know that he can score for himself, but the ability to take the ball out of Morant’s hands at times

Bane hit a nasty step back three-pointer early in the third quarter, and was everywhere offensively for Memphis.

GRADE - A+

Ja Morant - 24 points (9/19 FG, 0/3 3PT), 8 assists in 32 minutes

Morant went down early in this one following an awkward landing in transition that caused his neck/back to tighten up on him. Thankfully, Morant was able to get treatment in the Grizzlies locker room, and return in the second quarter.

Once Morant returned, he orchestrated the offense nicely, dished out eight assists, and scored 24 points in 32 minutes of game action. Morant was huge in the closing minutes of regulation for Memphis.

GRADE - A+

Cleveland Cavaliers v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jaren Jackson Jr. - 15 points, 7 rebounds in 28 minutes (GRADE - A-)

Jaren was impressive last night figuring in his matchup against two athletic big men in Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. Jaren held his own, and stayed out of foul trouble until the end of third quarter. Jackson Jr. saved the game in the closing seconds with a huge block on Darius Garland. Another defensive masterpiece from the Unicorn.

  • Steven Adams - 13 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists in 28 minutes (GRADE - A)

Very complete game from Steven Adams last night. Adams and Jackson Jr. are becoming a matchup nightmare for opposing big men. Adams did a great job of doing his job (which he does so consistently) on Wednesday night.

Outside of his free-throw issues, which Adams is improving on, Steven does a great job of setting his teammates up for success. Screening for Ja, crashing the boards, and even dishing out some dimes... Oh, and tapping the winning bucket in last night in the closing seconds. Steven Adams is sensational.

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