The Grizzlies Stay The Course
I don’t know about you but I had higher hopes for the team going into the weekend on Friday. The Cavaliers 1-3 are in last place in the Central Division. And while it is obviously very early, it is clear that the team needs more time on both offense and defense to “gel”. San Antonio’s defense looked like a well orchestrated dance recital. Players moving in step with locked arms. The Cavaliers on the other hand reminded me of wide eyed kids at the Prom showing off their latest moves.
The Memphis Grizzlies relied on Pau Gasol inside early and their 3-pointer shooters late.
Gasol scored 29 points and had seven rebounds to lead the Grizzlies over the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-106 on Saturday night. Gasol made 11 of 15 shots from the field for Memphis, which won its second straight game. Eddie Jones added 19 points and Mike Miller finished with 13. Memphis shot 56 percent from the field and made 11 of 18 3-pointers.
LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 36 points and six assists. Larry Hughes finished with 21 points, while Drew Gooden and Zydrunas Ilgauskas each had 14. Ilgauskas had 11 rebounds and Gooden grabbed 10.
Memphis led 82-81 entering the final period, but 3-pointers by Miller and Jackson were part of a 13-2 run to open the quarter. Memphis took its biggest lead at 95-83 on Dahntay Jones’ dunk with just under nine minutes left.
“Bobby Jackson’s shot went all the way to the roof before it went in,” James said. “It wasn’t meant for us to win when you’ve got guys making shots like that.”
Cleveland eventually cut the lead to 111-106 on a 3-point play by Hughes with 19.2 seconds remaining, but Cleveland could get no closer.
“Part of it is the inexperience of us building and hanging onto a lead, and part of it is the newness of the system,” said first-year Cleveland coach Mike Brown.
The teams stayed close through the early stages of the second half until a powerful dunk by James followed by a 3-pointer extended the Cleveland lead to 78-71. But a pair of free throws by Miller gave Memphis an 82-81 lead entering the fourth.