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The Cleveland Cavaliers (4-2) soundly defeated the Memphis Grizzlies (3-3) down at the Q Friday night. Lebron, despite being in foul trouble early on, led the Cavaliers with 16 points. Eddie Jones led the Grizzlies with 15. James needs 10 points to become the youngest player in NBA history to reach 4,000 career points. James (20 years, 316 days) will likely hit the mark and pass Kobe Bryant (21 years, 216 days) when the Cavaliers play at Orlando on Sunday.
What was very interesting to watch last night, and I am not sure you could tell on Television, was that when Lebron picked up his 3rd foul early in the 2nd quarter, he put up both arms with the intent of telling Coach Brown not to take him out. Coach Brown however pulled Lebron out for the rest of the half. Lebron purposely walked around the Coach to avoid making eye contact. He even walked past several teammates outstretched hands on the bench. Lebron was frustrated and probably a little upset that Coach pulled him. But Lebron did not pout. He quickly became a supporter of the team. “I now know that when I get into fould trouble,” said James, “that I can go to the bench, sit there and not worry. I have help this year.” James may be downplaying his importance. In the 22 minutes he played through three quarters, the Cavaliers outscored Memphis, 44-17. In the 14 minutes he sat, the Grizzlies outscored them, 31-27.
The Cavs, improving each time out under first-year coach Mike Brown, contested every shot, out hustled the Grizzlies to every loose ball and dominated the boards, out rebounding Memphis 49-29 while holding them to a season low in points.
Cleveland’s swarming defense — even the defensively challenged Ilgauskas drew two charges — held Memphis to just 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting in third quarter when the Cavs opened a 27-point lead.
The Grizzlies came in averaging 95 points on 47.3 percent shooting — the NBA’s fourth-best mark.
For a complete recap click HERE.