Game 50: Cavs at Grizzlies
RADIO/TV: WTAM/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs tried to avoid a date with infamy, but their true colors showed in the late going and they went down once again.
They lost their 23rd consecutive game, which tied the all-time NBA record for consecutive losses in a season. They joined company with the 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies and the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets.
Some of the national media is converging on Cleveland for the Portland game on Saturday, which would be 24 in a row for the Cavs. Evidently, they want to be there to watch history being made.
They have also lost 32 of their last 33 games, as well as 25 in a row on the road.
The Cavs (8-42) think they’re coming very close to getting a win. But they make crucial mistakes down the stretch and don’t seem to know how to close out games.
They led by as many as 12 points, but got outscored in the fourth quarter, 29-21, and let it slip away. They allowed 12 offensive rebounds, five by Zach Randolph. They were also outrebounded, 38-33.
J.J. Hickson was a beast in the paint. He matched his career high with 31 points and added 15 rebounds, both game highs. He was 11 of 21 from the field.
Randolph had 29 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies (27-24). He came into the game ranked third in the NBA in rebounding at 13.2 per game.
The Grizzlies have several other good players, as evidenced by their above-.500 record in the Western Conference. Rudy Gay is a 20-point scorer.
The Grizzlies will be without guard O.J. Mayo, who is serving a 10-game suspension for using an illegal substance he said he purchased over the counter as a gas station. Sure, O.J., we believe you.
The Cavs came into Friday's game having won 11 of the last 13 games against the Grizzlies.
Guard Daniel Gibson, who was expecting to play, flew back to Cleveland to deal with a personal matter.
SF Christian Eyenga (6-5, 210) vs. Rudy Gay (6-8, 240)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Zach Randolph (6-9, 255)
C J.J. Hickson (6-9, 242) vs. Marc Gasol (7-1, 265)
SG Manny Harris (6-5, 185) vs. Sam Young (6-6, 220)
PG Ramon Sessions (6-3, 185) vs. Mike Conley (6-1, 185)
Cavs – C Anderson Varejao, F Leon Powe, G Mo Williams.
Grizzlies – F DeMarre Carroll.
David Jones, Mark Ayotte, Tommy Nunez Jr.