Blogs > Cleveland Cavaliers Blog

Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cavs vs. Raptors, Game 60

CAVS (46-14) 126, TORONTO RAPTORS (31-26) 118 (OT)
at Air Canada Centre
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: The Cavs played "small" ball. That will have to be the case for perhaps a couple weeks, as center Shaquille O'Neal has a sprained right thumb.

He'll have an MRI on Sunday. The Cavs might not want to hear the results.

O'Neal had difficulty defending the Raptors, whose center Andrea Bargnani likes to camp out at the 3-point line. O'Neal wants nothing to do with that strategy. He wants to protect the paint.

Anderson Varejao will move into the starting lineup for the time being. He fouled out in the fourth quarter of Friday's game with 11 points, eight rebounds and one block.

He'll have to refrain from fouling anything that moves. He needs to stay on the court longer than 23 minutes for the Cavs to be successful.

J.J. Hickson and Leon Powe are playing backup minutes at center.

All five starters scored in double figures, led by LeBron James' 36 points. He scored 36 points in each of the back-to-back games.

The Cavs caught another break. All-Star forward/center Chris Bosh missed the last four games with a sprained ankle. The Cavs faced the Celtics on Thursday without All-Star forward Paul Pierce and New Orleans on Tuesday without its best player in guard Chris Paul.

The Cavs have won their last three games. They lost to the Raptors in their last trip to Toronto on Oct. 28, 101-91, despite a triple-double by LeBron James.

The Cavs are in the midst of playing six of their next nine games on the road.

SF LeBron James vs. Hedo Turkoglu
PF Antawn Jamison vs. Rasho Nesterovic
C Anderson Varejao vs. Andrea Bargnani
SG Anthony Parker vs. DeMar DeRozan
PG Mo Williams vs. Jarrett Jack
Cavs - G Sebastian Telfair (groin) is out.
Raptors - F/C Chris Bosh (sprained left ankle) is day-to-day.
Bill Spooner, Eric Lewis, Leroy Richardson

Cavs vs. Celtics, Game 59

CAVS (45-14) 108, BOSTON CELTICS (36-20) 88
at TD Banknorth Garden

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs turned it up another notch after center Shaquille O'Neal went down with a "significant" thumb injury. He'll likely miss several games, but the Cavs aren't sure how many just yet.

The Celtics were scoring at will in the paint early on. The Celtics had 32 points in the paint in the first half, 14 in the second half.

So, with Shaq out of the lineup, the Cavs' interior defense got better.

J.J. Hickson came in and played well with eight points and four rebounds. Anderson Varejao was a monster inside with 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

He was the best big man in the nationally televised game.

Shaq won't play against Toronto tonight. Varejao will start at center.

"In the second half, our level of aggressiveness stepped up on both ends of the floor," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "Andy gave us a big lift. JJ gave us a big lift. It was great to see Mo knock down shots like he normally does.

"Time after time, somebody came up with a big play. Our defensive intensity, focus and effort were tremendous. If someone got beat, there was someone there to cover for him. We were very physical without sending guys to the free-throw line."

The Celtics were unable to cope with the Cavs' athleticism inside with Varejao and Hickson.

"With shaq out, they couldn’t score inside – they got a lot of paint points in transition. Rondo did a nice job of dribble driving and scoring when our defense was not set."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Z developments

Wizards center Zydrunas Ilgauskas will have to give back some money if a buyout is going to occur. David Aldridge writes about Z in a story on

Also, Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski writes about the league turning its head when side deals are done. It's a very well-written piece.

Ilgauskas' buyout could happen later today.

It looks like the Cavs will have to dig into their bi-annual exception to re-sign Z if he becomes a free agent.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cavs vs. Hornets, Game 58

CAVS (44-14) 105, NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (30-27) 95
at Quicken Loans Arena
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs finally played some semblance of defense in the fourth quarter, as they held the Hornets to 19 points and 35 percent shooting (6 of 17). But for the game, the Hornets still shot 50 percent.

That's been a regular occurrence for opponents as of late. But they snapped their three-game losing streak, their longest since March 2008.

Heading into the game, observers figured Mo Williams would have problems with mighty mite Darren Collison, and he most certainly did. Williams was outscored, 22-6.

The 6-foot, 160-pounder has averaging 17.4 points, 7.9 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 17 games as a starter.

Collison, the No. 21 pick out of UCLA last June, is just the third rookie in the last 20 seasons to have 14 or more assists in consecutive games (Milwaukee's Ramon Sessions on April 14-16, 2007, and Golden State's Tim Hardaway on April 10-12, 1990, are the others).

The real thorn in the Cavs' side was fellow rookie Marcus Thornton, who ripped the Cavs with a career-high 37 points.

The Cavs are going to struggle with the way they have been defending. But another problem is the way they are shooting from the perimeter. Williams and Delonte West need to make some outside shots.

NOTES -- The Cavs are now 20-6 against the Western Conference, 12-1 at The Q.

-- Center Shaquille O'Neal has made 18 of 23 shots from the field in the last two games.

-- Guard Anthony Parker had 13 points and four rebounds. He's reached double figures in three of his last four games.

SF LeBron James vs. Peja Stojakovic
PF Antawn Jamison vs. David West
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Emeka Okafor
SG Anthony Parker vs. Morris Peterson
PG Mo Williams vs. Darren Collison
Cavs - F Darnell Jackson, G/F Danny Green, G Sebastian Telfair.
Hornets - F/C Ike Diogu.
Tom Washington, Pat Fraher, Marat Kogut

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cavs vs. Magic, Game 57

ORLANDO MAGIC (38-19) 101, CAVS (43-14) 95
at Amway Arena

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs have lost three in a row for the first time since March 22-29, 2008. They didn't lose more than two in a row during their 66-win season.

The Magic are a formidable opponent with center Dwight Howard (22 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks) and all the shooters around him.

Guards Jameer Nelson (18 points) and Vince Carter (11) each had eight points in the fourth quarter. That might have been the difference in the game.

The Cavs’ top four guards were a combined 4 of 25 from the field against Orlando (Mo Williams 1 of 9, Anthony Parker 1 of 4, Delonte West 2 of 9 and Daniel Gibson 0 of 1).

The Cavs won their last meeting in Orlando on Nov. 11, 102-93. The game was actually more lopsided that the final score indicated.

NOTES: It's the most unbelievable thing. Magic senior vice president Pat Williams has now written 60 books. His latest, "Daly Wisdom," is about the late Chuck Daly, who coached the Cavs, Pistons and Magic.

-- ESPN radio's Dr. Jack Ramsay celebrated his 85th birthday working the game.

-- O'Neal clobbered Magic guard J.J. Redick so hard on a drive to the basket, many wondered if the former Duke star would get up. But he hopped up and split two free throws.

-- The media tried to goad O'Neal into some trash talk regarding Howard, but he wouldn't bite. He even embraced him after the game and told him, "Good game." He said playing the Magic is just another game.

SF LeBron James vs. Matt Barnes
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Rashard Lewis
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Dwight Howard
SG Anthony Parker vs. Vince Carter
PG Mo Williams vs. Jameer Nelson
Cavs - F Leon Powe, G Sebastian Telfair, G/F Danny Green.
Magic - C Adonal Foyle
Joe DeRosa, Tony Brown, Gary Zielinski

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cavs vs. Bobcats, Game 56

CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (27-26) 110, CAVS (43-13) 93
at Time Warner Cable Arena
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: Coach Mike Brown wants opponents to "feel" the Cavs on the defensive end.

There was no feeling going on during Friday's debacle in Charlotte. The Bobcats once again did what they wanted and shot 55 percent from the field and 47 percent from behind the arc.

The Cavs failed to land Stephen Jackson in a trade earlier in the season. Ever since then, he's abused them. He had 29 points on Friday to go along with eight rebounds and four assists.

They've now beaten the Cavs three out of four games this season. Remember, this was a team coming off a loss at home to New Jersey.

If the playoffs started today, the Bobcats would be the Cavs' first-round matchup. That might be a bit scary.

AJ'S DEBUT: I can't remember a worst debut with a new team than forward Antawn Jamison's on Friday. He was 0 of 12 from the field, including 0 of 4 from behind the arc. He had five shots blocks (probably all by Tyrus Thomas) and four airballs.

Luckily, he got 40 tickets for friends and family to watch him "perform." His parents were also on hand.

Now, don't fret. He's not really that bad.

It was tough returning to his home town, home state and playing for a new team. Things will get better, at least on the offensive end.

NOTES: Guard Sebastian Telfair is still weeks away from playing because of his groin injury. He might not ever play a minute for the Cavs.

-- Forward J.J. Hickson might remain in the starting lineup for the time being, but Jamison will likely get the bulk of the minutes.

-- Anderson Varejao will get his minutes because he's now the backup center. Leon Powe? Remember him? He's on the verge of making his season debut, which will further cloud Coach Mike Brown's rotation.

-- The Bobcats are one of only four teams - Boston, Denver and Chicago are the others - to beat the Cavs at The Q this season.

-- The Bobcats had four post players on their injury report for the Cavs game. One of them, Nazr Mohammed, started at center. Perhaps that's why they added center Theo Ratliff and athletic forward Tyrus Thomas at the trade deadline. Could they be bulking up for their playoff run?

SF LeBron James vs. Gerald Wallace
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Boris Diaw
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Mohammed Nazr
SG Anthony Parker vs. Stephen Jackson
PG Mo Williams vs. Raymond Felton
Cavs - F Leon Powe, G Sebastian Telfair
Bobcats - C Alexis Ajinca, C DeSagana Diop, C Tyson Chandler
Bill Kennedy, Marc Davis, Kane Fitzgerald

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cavs vs. Nuggets, Game 55

DENVER NUGGETS (36-18) 118, CAVS (43-12) 116, OT
at Quicken Loans Arena

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs' 13-game winning streak came to an end. It was their first loss in February. They hadn't lost since a one-point decision at Utah on Jan. 14.

They also were swept by the Nuggets this season.

Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony was fabulous in the second half. He started the game 2 of 11 from the field. He finished 13 of 28.

He hit the game-winning 20-foot jumper over LeBron James with 1.9 seconds remaining. He ended with 40 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

The Cavs are now 1-2 in overtime this season.

James wasn't too bad, either, as he finished with his third triple-double of the season and 27th of his career. He had gaudy numbers with 43 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists. The assists tied his career high.

The Cavs had an All-Star-in-waiting in forward Antawn Jamison. The Cavs hope he'll be able to play tonight in Charlotte, just miles from where he starred at the University of North Carolina (OK several miles, but it's a good story line).

"That's the plan," Jamison said after the game about playing against the Bobcats.

NOTES - Injured guard Sebastian Telfair has taken over Zydrunas Ilgauskas' locker. It's strange seeing him in there.

-- The Cavs missed 17 free throws on the night. Perhaps they don't deserve to win if they make 23 of 40 free throws in a game.

-- Guard Mo Williams returned to the lineup. He played just 18 minutes and scored eight points and had three assists. The team doctors told Coach Mike Brown that Williams shouldn't play more than 20 minutes on the night. He missed the previous 11 games with a sprained left shoulder.

-- Forward Jawad Williams played 16 minutes, mostly to guard Anthony. However, Jamario Moon, maybe a little better overall defender, never got off the bench.

SF LeBron James vs. Carmelo Anthony
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Kenyon Martin
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Nene
SG Anthony Parker vs. Arron Afflalo
PG Chauncey Billups vs. Daniel Gibson
Cavs - Leon Powe, Antawn Jamison, Sebastian Telfair
Nuggets - Renaldo Balkman
Monty McCutchen, James Capers, Mark Lindsay

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Amar'e situation

Happy Walters, the agent for Suns forward/center Amar'e Stoudemire, said he thinks his client will be traded by Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline.

To read the rest of this blog and comment, click here:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is Amar'e coming?

Cavs GM Danny Ferry might be coming home from Dallas with more than wonderful memories from All-Star weekend.

Talks have intensified between the Cavs and Suns about forward/center Amar's Stoudemire. Sources in Dallas are saying it sounds like a deal could be made. But nothing has been finalized.

The Cavs are dangling center Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his $11.5 million expiring contract over the Suns' head. Power forward J.J. Hickson would also be included in the deal.

If they do acquire the five-time All-Star, it will be a move that either pushes them over the top and fuels their first NBA championship, or it will upset the apple cart.

On paper, Wizards forward Antawn Jamison might fit better with the Cavs in 2010. That seems like he's fit in seamlessly with the Cavs. He shoots, he rebounds and is a great guy. But he's getting up there in age and has $28 million on his contract after this year.

The Stoudemire-Shaquille O'Neal pairing clearly didn't work in Phoenix last year. Despite all that talent, the Suns didn't make the playoffs.

They are both low-post threats, even though Stoudemire does have a trusty mid-range jumper.

The key to the whole thing is LeBron James. If he thinks it can work, then do it. He's the swizzle stick that stirs the drink.

He's supposedly signed off on getting the 6-10, 249-pound Stoudemire. The Cavs will reportedly find out in the next day or two whether the Suns accept their offer.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cavs vs. Magic, Game 54

CAVS (43-11) 115, ORLANDO MAGIC (36-18) 106
at Quicken Loans Arena

WHAT HAPPENED: Cavs center Shaquille O'Neal couldn't stay on the court. He played a little under 20 minutes. He had 10 points, six rebounds and one block.

Of his five personal fouls, only two of them were against Magic center Dwight Howard. That, my friends, is a tactical mistake.

O'Neal is on the team, largely, to counter the 6-11, 275-pound Howard. He can't be picking up ticky-tack fouls trying to guard the pick-and-roll.

There are only a few men on the planet who can guard Howard, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-NBA center. The 7-1, 325-pound O'Neal is one of them.

Howard ended with 19 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.

The Cavs are now 2-0 vs. the Magic this season. They also beat them in Orlando on Nov. 11, 102-93.

The Magic are a strong team, probably the second best team in the East. They could once again face the Cavs in the East finals. The Cavs are hoping for a better outcome this time.

NOTES -- O'Neal was the first overall pick in the 1992 draft by the Magic. He helped them get to the NBA Finals before going to the Lakers.

-- The Cavs are an NBA-best 24-3 at The Q.

-- The Cavs have won 13 in a row, as well as 28 of their last 32.

-- Forward J.J. Hickson scored 13 of his 20 points in the first quarter.

-- The Cavs got 35 points off the bench, including 16 by Anderson Varejao.

SF LeBron James vs. Matt Barnes
PF J.J Hickson vs. Rashard Lewis
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Dwight Howard
SG Anthony Parker vs. Vince Carter
PG Daniel Gibson vs. Jameer Nelson
Cavs - G Mo Williams (sprained left shoulder), F Leon Powe (left knee surgery), G Cedric Jackson.
Magic - C Adonal Foyle.
Eddie F. Rush, Mike Callahan, Eric Lewis

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Z becomes a star

Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas said he's finally made it. Of course, he was talking about the Nike puppet commercial with LeBron James.

It is finally being shown. Z comes into a barbershop and asks if anyone wants DVDs. For those of you who aren't hip, bootleg DVDs are the rage in many barbershops.

LISTEN TO MOOHEAD: Listen to my appearance today on Moohead radio. Of course, we discussed the upcoming trade deadline.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cavs vs. Nets, Game 53

CAVS (42-11) 104, NEW JERSEY NETS (4-47) 97
at Quicken Loans Arena
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: Coach Mike Brown said before the game that guard Delonte West wouldn't play against New Jersey. Once again, it didn't matter.

Forward LeBron James dished out a game-high 11 assists, as the Cavs had 27 on the night. He ended with a game-high 32 points.

Brown said he's not sure when West will play.

West is still listed as "day-to-day." Perhaps he can shake some of the rust off against Orlando on Thursday.

The Nets have the worst record in the NBA at 4-47.

Center Brook Lopez is one of the few rays of hope with the Nets. He's averaging 19 points and 9.0 rebounds.

The Cavs have beaten the Nets seven times in a row, including the last four at The Q.

Why are the Nets so bad? They are last in points scored in the NBA (89.9 per game), last in field-goal percentage (42.3 percent) and next-to-last in 3-point accuracy (29.4 percent). Other than that, they're pretty good.

Guard Devin Harris (sprained left shoulder) was held out of the game. He collided with teammate Jarvis Hayes in their last game.

The Cavs are on the verge of tying their all-time franchise record with 13 wins in a row. But it's not going to be easy. They'll be playing the second-best team in the Eastern Conference and the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last year.

The Magic are 35-17 and have a slightly different look than last year's team that lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

NOTES - The Cavs are 32-1 when they hit the century mark.

-- The Cavs are 20-0 when they shoot 50 percent or better.

-- The Nets were held to two fastbreak points, which ties a season low for a Cavs' opponent.

-- In their last 22 home games, the Cavs are 21-1. They've averaged 104.4 points in those games on 51.4 percent shooting. They've held their opponents to 93.9 points and 43.3 percent shooting in those 22 games.

SF LeBron James vs. Jarvin Hayes
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Yi Jianlian
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Brook Lopez
SG Anthony Parker vs. Courtney Lee
PG Daniel Gibson vs. Keyon Dooling
Cavs - G Mo Williams (sprained left shoulder), F Leon Powe (left knee surgery), G Delonte West (fractured left ring finger).
Nets - G Devin Harris (sprained left shoulder), F/C Josh Boone.
Tony Brothers, David Guthrie, Haywoode Workman

Monday, February 8, 2010

New McDonald's commercial

The much-anticipated McDonald's commercial was a bit of a letdown. It doesn't come anywhere near the Larry Bird-Michael Jordan commercial. That was an all-time great. This one has a lot of flashy dunks and is good, but in my opinion, it just doesn't measure up to the old one.

Some people were also put off at the slight of Bird in this one. LeBron James and Dwight Howard wonder who Bird is at the end. It's all in jest, of course. They both know the "Hick from French Lick."

Since we're on the topic of commercials, word has it Zydrunas Ilgauskas is in LeBron's new puppet ad. It has not been released yet.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cavs vs. Knicks, Game 52

CAVS (41-11) 113, NEW YORK KNICKS (19-31) 106
at Quicken Loans Arena
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: Forward LeBron James scored 24 consecutive points for the Cavs over the course of the first and second quarters.

The last player in the NBA to do that was Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, who scored 26 points in a row on Dec. 10, 2008, vs. Minnesota.

James finished with 47 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and five steals. The last player with at least those numbers was Golden State's Rick Barry (64 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and five steals) against Portland on March 26, 1974.

The Cavs cruised to 44 points in the first quarter and a 74-54 advantage at halftime. They let up on the gas pedal (no Toyota jokes, please) in the second half and allowed the Knicks back in the game.

Like usual, they had trouble stopping 5-9 guard Nate Robinson, who paced the Knicks with 26 points and six assists.

Center David Lee added 20 points and eight rebounds. But the Knicks went with rookie Jordan Hill in the fourth quarter and he showed some flashes of why he was a top 10 pick in the draft.

The Knicks cut it to three points on two occasions in the fourth quarter.

NOTES: The Cavs have now won 11 in a row, which ties for the longest streak in the NBA this season.

-- They have beaten their last six opponents by an average of 14.1 points.

-- The Cavs have won seven in a row over the Knicks, including their last five meetings at The Q. The Cavs knocked off the Knicks, 100-91, at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 6.

-- The Cavs won a franchise-record 13 in a row last year from March 7-31.

-- The Knicks will be playing without guard Larry Hughes, who sprained his big toe in their loss to Milwaukee on Friday. The ex-Cavs guard has worked his way back into Coach Mike D'Antoni's rotation. He's also sporting a beard.

-- The Cavs are 31-1 when they score at least 100 points. They are 19-0 when they shoot at least 50 percent from the field.

SF LeBron James vs. Danilo Gallinari
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Jared Jeffries
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. David Lee
SG Anthony Parker vs. Wilson Chandler
PG Daniel Gibson vs. Nate Robinson
Cavs - G Mo Williams (sprained left shoulder), G Delonte West (fractured left ring finger), F Leon Powe (left knee surgery).
Knicks - C Eddy Curry (sore left knee), F/C Darko Milicic, G Cuttino Mobley
Bennett Salvatore, Bennie Adams, Phil Robinson

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cavs vs. Heat, Game 51

CAVS (40-11) 102, MIAMI HEAT (24-25) 86
at Quicken Loans Arena

BREAKING NEWS: Former Cavs part-owner David Katzman has reportedly invested in the Detroit Pistons. It's not known how much he invested. He sold his 15-percent stake in the Cavs earlier in the season. He sold it to Chinese investors.

WHAT HAPPENED: Cavs point guard Daniel "Boobie" Gibson was a late scratch for the Heat game. His pregnant fiancee, R&B singer Keyshia Cole, was taken to a Cleveland hospital. Thankfully, both Cole and the baby are fine.

He showed up in the second quarter and started the second half. He finished with 12 points, his seventh consecutive game in double figures.

The Cavs started the game without their top three point guards.

GREAT MATCHUP?: The LeBron James-Dwyane Wade matchup was a dud. It started out good, but it didn't materialize. James outscored him, 36-24.

Wade was 3 of 12 from the field in the second half. In the last two meetings between the Cavs and Heat, Wade was a combined 4 of 20 from the field in the second halves.

COULD THIS HAPPEN?: Might the Heat trade for Suns forward/center Amar'e Stoudemire before the deadline? They could send center Jermaine O'Neal, guard/forward Dorell Wright and two first-round draft picks to the Suns for Stoudemire.

SF LeBron James vs. Quentin Richardson
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Michael Beasley
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Jermaine O'Neal
SG Anthony Parker vs. Dwyane Wade
PG Daniel Gibson vs. Jawad Williams
Cavs - G Mo Williams (sprained left shoulder), G Delonte West (fractured left ring finger), F Leon Powe (left knee surgery).
Heat - G Mario Chalmers (sprained left thumb), G/F Yakhouba Diawara.
Bob Delaney, Brian Forte, Ed Malloy

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jamison talk

Ken Berger of CBS Sportsline thinks Cavs forward LeBron James has let it be known that he's behind a possible deal involving Wizards forward Antawn Jamison.

Obviously, Jamison is the Cavs' No. 1 target as the Feb. 18 deadline rapidly approaches.

As I wrote on Sunday, there's a growing sentiment that the Cavs might stand pat at the deadline unless they can get Jamison.

Sixers guard/forward Andre Iguodala is a bit intriguing, as well, even though he has two things working against him: He doesn't shoot as well as you'd like your shooting guard to shoot, and he has a max contract. Iguodala has $56 million on his deal over the next four years. That will scare most teams.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cavs vs. Grizzlies, Game 50

CAVS (39-11) 105, MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (26-22) 89
at Quicken Loans Arena
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

PACERS ASKING TOO MUCH?: Indianapolis Star says the Pacers' asking price for forward/center Troy Murphy was center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, forward J.J. Hickson and draft picks. Excuse me?

WHAT HAPPENED: The Grizzlies beat the Cavs in Memphis on Dec. 8, 111-109, in overtime. That worked against them on Tuesday.

The Cavs led from wire-to-wire for the second consecutive game.

Grizzlies All-Star power forward Zach Randolph ripped the Cavs for 32 points, 14 rebounds and four steals in the December meeting. He was the focus of their defense on Tuesday.

J.J. Hickson and Anderson Varejao were all over him defensively.

"I definitely took it personal," Hickson said.

Randolph made just 3 of 14 from the field for eight points and five turnovers.

But the rest of the Grizzlies weren't much better. O.J. Mayo made 4 of 15 from the field and Mike Conley was 1 of 6.

NOTES: The Cavs are 20-0 when Hickson scores seven or more points.

-- The Cavs have defeated their last four opponents by an average margin of 19 points.

-- Since the start of the 2008-09 season, the Cavs are 25-1 against the Western Conference.

SF LeBron James vs. Rudy Gay
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Zach Randolph
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Marc Gasol
SG Anthony Parker vs. O.J. Mayo
PG Daniel Gibson vs. Mike Conley
Cavs - G Delonte West (fractured left ring finger), G Mo Williams (left shoulder sprain), F Leon Powe (left knee surgery).
Grizzlies - F Darrell Arthur (right pectoralis surgery), G/F Sam Young (allergic reaction).
Courtney Kirkland, Joe Crawford, Derek Richardson