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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Game 14: Cavs at Grizzlies

Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: This was a rugged end to the Cavs' three-game road trip. They were unable to salvage the final game on the 0-3 trip. One could make a case that they could have won all three games.

They failed to close out all three games after leading late. On Monday, they had a 76-74 lead with 5:57 left. They were outscored, 10-2, down the stretch to lose going away.

The Cavs were 1 of 9 from the field in the last 5:57 and committed four turnovers. Just horrible execution.

Why they fall apart down the stretch is not known. But when you're watching the games, you just wait for it to happen - and it does.

The same thing happened in the Miami game on Saturday. They had a 108-101 lead with 1:58 remaining, and crumbled like a 3-day-old cookie. They were also tied with Orlando late in Friday's game and found a way to lose.

Are they missing point guard Kyrie Irving that much? I'm guessing that has a lot to do with it.

Up until Monday's game, Jeremy Pargo had been playing very well. He came into Monday's game averaging 19.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.3 turnovers in three games as a starter. However, he wasn't nearly as effective against his former team.

Pargo looked like he wanted to show the Grizzlies they made a mistake trading him. He had nine point, two rebounds, three assists and three turnovers. The Boobie Gibson-Dion Waiters backcourt was way more productive.

Waiters had 15 points, three assists and a game-high four steals. He was only 5 of 16 from the field. Fans are accustomed to those kinds of shooting nights from the rookie. But the kid can play.

Gibson had 11 points off the bench - the Cavs' reserves outscored Memphis, 21-14 - and was laying down some serious defense.

Cavs swingman Alonzo Gee was fantastic on the defensive end. He held Rudy Gay to 15 points - 5 under his average.

The Cavs got a break before the game when it was announced that Grizzlies starting point guard Mike Conley would miss the game with the flu. Jerryd Bayless stepped in and had nine points and six assists. He hit an 11-foot pull-up jumper with 23.8 seconds left that extended the Grizzlies' lead to four points.

The Cavs competed on this road trip. They lost the three games by a combined 12 points. They are defending well, especially center Anderson Varejao, who had 15 points and a game-high 22 rebounds.

If they keep playing at this level, wins will eventually come, assuming they clean up their troubles in the waning moments of the game.

For those of you with a great memory, Cavs coach Byron Scott was selected in the 1995 Expansion Draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He averaged 10.2 points in 80 games in their inaugural season of 1995-96.

Scott and Hollins both played collegiately at Arizona State University, and both had their jersey numbers retired at Wells Fargo Arena on Feb. 17, 2011.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Phoenix at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Rudy Gay (6-8, 230)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Zach Randolph (6-9, 255)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Marc Gasol (7-1, 265)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Tony Allen (6-4, 213)
PG Jeremy Pargo (6-2, 219) vs. Jerryd Bayless (6-3, 200) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, G Kyrie Irving
Grizzlies - G Tony Wroten
Mike Callahan, Dick Bavetta, Sir Allen Conner


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