NBA -- Cavs pass stern test versus Grizzlies
By Jose Carlos Monroy
Tue, 23 Dec 2014
CLEVELAND -- In a convincing triumph against a Western Conference powerhouse and the league's second-best team so far this season, the Cleveland Cavaliers handled the visiting Memphis Grizzlies, 105-91, on Sunday afternoon at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Lebron James went 9-for-15 from the field to lead the hosts with 25 points and 11 dimes while center Marc Gasol paced the Grizzlies with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Andy Varejao pulled down seven rebounds and scored 12 of his 18 points in the first half to help Cleveland's cause. Kyrie Irving, who was awarded as USA Basketball's Male Athlete of the Year before the game, chipped in 17 points and tied his career high 12 assists.
Dion Water came off the Cavs bench to finish with 21 points, including 12 in the pivotal fourth quarter.. Shawn "The Matrix" Marion, taken off the starting line-up for two straight games, added 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting.
Mike Conley did not perform according to potential and settled with just 11 points.
?You give them a lot of credit. They had a lot of great play from a lot of their start.? He said after the game.
Before the game, Cavs head coach David Blatt wanted his team's defense to improve by five percent as the Cavs are ranked 26th in the league in field goal percentage allowed at 47 percent.
His players responded and the Grizzlies were held to just 45.3 percent form the field and a mere 6.3 percent clip from 30point range (1-for-16). Conversely, the Cavs shot 60.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from long distance.
I thought we came out well defensively, which set the tone for the rest of the game. In fairness, they were missing Zach Randolph who is an important player and an inside presence for them, but we recognized the lineup they were going to play with and we defended well in every position and defended well as a team.? Blatt said after the win.
Photo: The Cavs celebrate after trouncing the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon in Clveveland.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Jose Carlos Monroy.
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