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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Game 26: Grizzlies at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

1. When the Grizzlies left power forward Zach Randolph (sore knee) and Tony Allen (corneal abrasion) back in Memphis, that changed the complexion of the game. Even without those two players, the Grizzlies still defend. Allen, though, would have guarded LeBron James. He gets up for the challenge of guarding him. It was a huge difference when Courtney Lee started the game on him instead of Allen.

2. Regardless of who played for the Grizzlies, they are still a formidable team. They recently came off wins over Golden State and San Antonio on back-to-back nights. They are for real. Even though they were a bit short-handed, they still brought players like Kosta Koufos, Vince Carter, Quincy Pondexter and Nick Calathes off the bench.

3. Koufos probably won't be joining the Cavs via trade, but he sure would look good coming off their bench. He had eight points, three rebounds and one steal in 24 minutes for the Grizzlies.

4. The Cavs were impressive. They shot 61 percent from the field. They dished out 34 assists on 46 field goals. They had two players - James and Kyrie Irving - who had more than 10 assists. That's impressive.

5. Defensively, the Cavs limited the Grizzlies to 91 points, including a season-low 1 of 16 from the 3-point line (6.3 percent). The Cavs are 8-1 when holding opponents to 91 points or fewer, 12-1 when outshooting opponents. They are 13-2 when they reach the century mark.

6. The Cavs' bench outscored Memphis, 37-34. The bench is rounding into form - finally. I'm working on a story on the bench for later in the week.

7. Mike Miller didn't look like he was moving around very well. After his sparkling 21-point performance against Brooklyn on Friday, he didn't score against the Grizzlies. He took only one shot. One of the reasons he was promoted to the startling lineup was his conditioning finally was on par. Coach David Blatt casually dropped that tidbit in his postgame chat before the Memphis game.

8. Grizzlies forward Joe Leuer, who started in place of Randolph, had a strong game with 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals. He was 7 of 14 from the field and 2 of 2 from behind the arc. I have to tell you I never thought he'd be much of a player, but he's playing well. I commend his performance. He played briefly for the Cavs two years ago.

UP NEXT: vs. Minnesota, Quicken Loans Arena, 7 p.m. Tuesday

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Tayshaun Prince (6-9, 215)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Jon Leuer (6-10, 228)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Marc Gasol (7-1, 265)
SG Mike Miller (6-8, 218) vs. Courtney Lee (6-5, 200)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Mike Conley (6-1, 185)
Cavs - C Alex Kirk, F Lou Amundson
Grizzlies - G Tony Allen, F/C Zach Randolph
Jason Phillips, Violet Palmer, Sean Corbin


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