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The Cleveland Cavaliers came into tonight with the tough task that was the Memphis Grizzlies ahead of them. What was supposed to be an interesting, powerhouse matchup between the East and West’s second seeds turned into a 30-point blowout by the middle of the third quarter. The Cavs went on to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 111-89.
The Cavs got off to a good start against Memphis tonight on the backs of Kevin Love. He knocked down his first two jumpers while also playing well defensively. Cleveland led by no more than five points, but were it was clear the Cavs were playing a little harder than the Grizz. Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with eight points in the first and LeBron had five, but it was Love’s play that ignited the Cavs great night as he had six points, three rebounds, an assist, steal, and two blocked shots. Cleveland led 22-19 after one quarter of play.
The second quarter is where the Cavs got some separation by scoring 10 points to Memphis’ five, taking a 32-24 lead. After exchanging baskets throughout the quarter, Memphis was able to pull within 40-36 on a mini 10-4 run with four minutes to play in the half. That’s when Cleveland turned on the jets and scored 14 of the half’s next 20 points (holding Memphis to just six), including a Kyrie Irving and-1 to give the Cavs a 54-42 halftime lead.
The NBA’s second best defensive team in Memphis hit a wall in the third quarter as they could not stop the Cavaliers onslaught offensively or make a bucket of their own. The Cavs took their 62-50 advantage and used a 22-4 run in seven minutes and balloon the lead to 86-57. The Grizzlies started knocking down some shots late in the third, but Matthew Dellavedova and Kyrie Irving helped one another score the last eight Cavalier points, including a buzzer-beating lay-in by Irving, to take a 91-66 lead.
The fourth quarter was pretty much garbage time tonight as Kendrick Perkins, Iman Shumpert, and Delly got some extra running to close out the game. Cleveland defeated Memphis by a final score of 111-89 in what is one of the worst home losses in Grizzlies history. So bad, that even some staff workers were shocked:
There are staff workers of Grizzlies saying this was the worst loss they've seen in five years. #Cavs taking no prisoners.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) March 26, 2015
Kyrie Irving led the Cavs in scoring tonight with 24 points in three quarters to go along with three rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Kevin Love scored 22 points on a surprisingly good 10-13 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists, a steal, and two blocks to round out his night. LeBron James scored 20 points with eight rebounds and five assists. Timofey Mozgov had 14 points and nine rebounds while J.R. Smith had 13 points and six assists.
Wow what a solid game from start to finish. Cavs seem to be coming together, and all those people wondering K Love, he is fine, need to stop
— Austin Carr (@MrCavalier34) March 26, 2015
As a team, the Cavs played better than the Grizzlies in nearly all aspects. Cleveland shot 51.2% from the field, 41.2% from three with 49 rebounds and 30 assists compared to the Grizz’s 43.5% from the field, 23.5% from downtown, 32 rebounds and 18 assists. Adam the Bull, as he’s called on his CBS Sports Radio show, chimed on some impressive Cavaliers’ stats:
Cavs are now 28-6 since January 15th. They are 14-4 against other playoff teams. They have not lost a home game since January 7th.
— Adam the Bull (@AdamtheBullFAN) March 26, 2015
Cleveland finishes it’s three-game road trip Friday night against the Brooklyn Nets, a team they beat handily a week ago.
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Timofey Mozgov feeds a cutting LeBron James for the two-handed slam!
Kyrie puts on a dribbling show before pulling and banking in the shot
Here are the full highlights from tonight’s game: