Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Cavaliers fall late to Grizzlies

Cleveland wastes 4th-quarter lead to NBA-leading Memphis

MEMPHIS — Zach Ran­dolph and Marc Gasol scored 19 points apiece to help the Mem­phis Griz­zlies over­came a le­thar­gic per­for­mance and es­cape with an 84-78 vic­tory over the Cleve­land Cava­liers on Mon­day night.

Rudy Gay added 15 points, and Quincy Pon­dex­ter had 10, in­clud­ing 2-of-3 shoot­ing from out­side the arc, as NBA-lead­ing Mem­phis (10-2) won its sec­ond straight.

Ander­son Vare­jao had 15 points and 22 re­bounds — in­clud­ing eight on the of­fen­sive glass — and Dion Waiters also scored 15 to lead Cleve­land. Daniel Gib­son added 11 points for the Cavs, who lost their third straight and ninth in their last 10 games.

The Cava­liers still held the lead with 8:28 left, but Mem­phis closed the game on a 13-4 run. The Griz­zlies out­scored Cleve­land 22-9 in the fourth quar­ter.

Mem­phis played with­out start­ing point guard Mike Con­ley, who sat out with flu-like symp­toms, and his ab­sence was ev­i­dent within the of­fense.

Cleve­land had a 41-33 ad­van­tage on the boards, while Mem­phis out­scored the Cavs 44-38 in the paint.

Cleve­land held a seven-point lead af­ter three quar­ters, but Mem­phis opened the fi­nal frame with a 12-5 run, ty­ing it at 74 on back-to-back 3-point­ers from Pon­dex­ter and Gay.

Cleve­land wouldn't sur­ren­der the lead un­til Tony Al­len hit a pair of free throws with 2:49 left to give Mem­phis a 78-76 lead.

Ran­dolph's in­side bas­ket with 1:29 to play ex­tended the mar­gin to 80-76, but a re­bound dunk by Alonzo Gee with 44.5 sec­onds left cut the lead to 80-78. Cleve­land would get no closer.

Cleve­land used 50 per­cent shoot­ing and a much more spir­ited ap­proach than the Griz­zlies to take a 47-42 lead at the half. Vare­jao had 11 points and 12 re­bounds at the break.

Ran­dolph had 13 points at the half, and Gasol and Gay had 10 apiece.

While both teams com­mit­ted eight turn­overs in the half, Mem­phis seemed to be sleep­walk­ing through the mo­tions.

Al­len and Gasol were pro­vid­ing the only en­ergy for Mem­phis in the third quar­ter

Vare­jao's jumper as the horn sounded at the end of the third gave Cleve­land a 69-62 lead en­ter­ing the fourth — the first time this sea­son Mem­phis has trailed at the end of three.

NOTES: Mem­phis caused 18 turn­overs, the 116th con­sec­u­tive game where the Griz­zlies have forced at least 10 — the lon­gest such streak in the NBA. ... Jer­emy Pargo, who played for Mem­phis last sea­son, is start­ing at guard for Cleve­land with Kyrie Irv­ing out with a left in­dex fin­ger in­jury. Pargo fin­ished with nine points. ... It was Vare­jao's ninth dou­ble-dou­ble of the sea­son. His 22 re­bounds were one short of his ca­reer high. ... Ran­dolph ended the night with eight re­bounds, mark­ing the first time this sea­son he hasn't recorded a dou­ble-dou­ble.

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