Game 64: Cavs at Grizzlies
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/NBA TV, Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Grizzlies are operating under the radar this year, despite their great playoff run last season. They've won five in a row after Monday's game. They have the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference heading into the playoffs.
The Cavs have lost both games on the road trip. They have just two remaining on the schedule: home vs. Washington on Wednesday and at Chicago on Thursday. This was the only meeting with the Grizzlies this season.
The Grizzlies' starting backcourt is solid, especially on the defensive end. Shooting guard Tony Allen has lockdown ability. He was out of his mind on Monday with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight steals. Eight. That's the most against the Cavs by a player this season.
Strangely enough, it's point guard Mike Conley who the Grizzlies are touting for the All-Defensive team. Perhaps, it should be Allen.
Conley, the former Ohio State standout, is second in the NBA in steals at 2.24. He trails only Clippers guard Chris Paul. He's come on strong for the Grizzlies and has improved his outside shooting.
The Grizzlies' second unit is as good as any team in the league. It includes O.J. Mayo, Zach Randolph and Lester Hudson.
Cavs guard Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 25 points, four assists and three steals. Manny Harris had 11 points and Donald Sloan nine.
In his last six games, Harris is averaging 13.2 points and 4.8 rebounds and shooting 52 percent from the field. He’s playing like he has a chip on his shoulder and wants to get a leg up on next season.
MILESTONE: Forward Antawn Jamison passed Eddie Johnson to move into 44th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He’s 24 points shy of No. 43 Bob Lanier, who has 19,248 points. Former Cavs teammate LeBron James is right on Jamison’s tail. He is ranked 47th with 19,045 points.
UP NEXT: The Cavs host Washington at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Rudy Gay (6-8, 230)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Marreese Speights (6-10, 255)
C Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Marc Gasol (7-1, 265)
SG Anthony Parker (6-6, 210) vs. Tony Allen (6-4, 219)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Mike Conley (6-1, 185)
Cavs – G Daniel Gibson, C Semih Erden
Grizzlies - G Gilbert Arenas, F Darrell Arthur
Ken Mauer, Brent Barnaky, Eric Dalen