LeBron James lifts hot-shooting Cavaliers past Grizzlies
Cavaliers Send Grizzlies To Second Straight Loss
CLEVELAND — LeBron James had 25 points and 11 assists, Dion Waiters scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and the Cleveland Cavaliers handled one of the Western Conference’s best teams, beating the Memphis Grizzlies 105-91 on Sunday.
James scored 16 in the second half and the Cavs shot a season-best 61 percent from the field to improve to just 3-6 against West teams. Anderson Varejao scored 18 and Kyrie Irving had 17 points and 12 assists for the Cavs, who are 11-3 since their sluggish 5-7 start.
Cleveland, which has won eight of nine at home, is 9-2 when James has at least nine assists.
Jon Leuer added 16 points for Memphis, which dropped to 21-6.
Despite not having Randolph, their leading rebounder, Grizzlies were still within 79-74 when the Cavs went on an 8-0 run to take control. Irving triggered the spurt with a basket before Waiters fed James for an alley-oop dunk. Waiters then drained a 3-pointer to cap an 11-3 run, and the backup guard who has been inconsistent this season scored eight consecutive points to push Cleveland’s lead to 100-83.
Cavs coach David Blatt said his team would need to “bring it” to match the Grizzlies’ physicality. Cleveland brought it, building a 20-6 lead in the first quarter, helped by Gasol going to the bench after picking up his second personal. The Grizzlies, though, battled back and were only down 11 at halftime.
Grizzlies: Randolph may miss at least one more game. An MRI taken on Saturday did not show any structural damage but the Grizzlies are going to be extra cautious with Randolph, who will likely sit out Monday’s home game against Utah as well. “He’s a warrior and I just thought taking a night off isn’t the worst thing in the world,” said coach David Joerger. “A game or two can help you over the long haul.” … G Tony Allen missed his third straight game with a scratched cornea. … The Grizzlies are in a five-games-in-seven-days stretch.
Cavaliers: Irving shot 8 for 13. He came in shooting just 37 percent (30 of 81) in his previous five games, but Blatt isn’t worried about his point guard’s slump lingering. “Guys go through periods like that,” Blatt said. “We know Kyrie can shoot the ball and the ball will go in.” … During a timeout, F Mike Miller‘s various hairstyles — long, high and tight and a mullet — were shown on the giant scoreboard, prompting James to turn to his teammate and say, “That’s (messed) up, man.”
Grizzlies: Host Utah on Monday.
Cavaliers: Host Minnesota on Tuesday.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
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