What took the Cleveland Cavaliers 36 minutes to build it took the Memphis Grizzlies less than 3 minutes to destroy. A 13-0 run to start the 4th quarter turned a 1-point Cleveland Cavaliers lead at 85-84 into a 97-85 deficit that Memphis never looked back from in sending the Cavs to a 112-105 loss, tying a NBA record for most consecutive losses in one season.
Ironically, one of the teams the Cavaliers share the record with are the Vancouver Grizzlies – in 1995-96 – who eventually moved to Memphis.
J.J. Hickson scored 31 points and brought down 15 rebounds to lead the Cavs, but was a -19 on the scoreboard – defense has been an issue with Hickson from the day he was drafted and has gotten him in the dog house with Byron Scott as well.
Antawn Jamison scored 19 points but was just 7-22 from the field – 1-8 from three point range. Ramon Sessions added 20 points and 11 rebounds while Antony Parker scored 18 points. Cleveland hasn’t won a game since beating the New York Knicks 109-102 in overtime on December 19, 2010. Their last road win came in November against the New Jersey Nets.
Sometimes it is baffling, even to me, how the Cavaliers have lost games. Take away the first 3 minutes of the 4th quarter, and the Cavaliers dominated the Grizzlies in a lot of ways. Those 3 minutes, however, when the Cavaliers are as shorthanded as they are, were the difference.
Zach Randolph scored 29 points for Memphis while Rudy Gay added 26. Former Ohio State Buckeyes basketball star Mike Conley added 21 points . Sam Young scored 19, nearly giving the Grizzlies four 20-point scorers. The Grizzlies out-rebounded the Cavs 38-33 and shot 27-30(90%) from the free throw line.
One disappointment for the Cavaiers was Manny Harris, who struggled to an 0-5 night with zero points in 18 minutes. Harris also turned the ball over 4 times.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to tie the NBA record for most consecutive in-season losses they’ll go down fighting. J.J. Hickson has a double-double through 3 quarters and the Cavaliers survived actually falling behind the Memphis Grizzlies to lead 84-83 after 3 quarters.
Memphis rallied from 11 points down to actually take an 83-80 lead late in the 3rd quarter before the Cavaliers grabbed the lead back before the buzzer. Antawn Jamison has 15 points while Anthony Parker has added 13 points off the bench.
Rudy Gay leads the Grizzlies with 21 points and 7 rebounds.
The Cavaliers led by as many as 10 points in the 2nd quarter – 51-41 – before the Grizzlies cut the advantage at 53-50. Cleveland finished that half on a 6-2 run.
The Grizzlies are led by Rudy Gay’s 16 points followed by 13 points for Sam Young. The Grizzlies are just 0-1 from 3-point territory while the Cavaliers are 3-8. That Cavs have also dished out 14 assists in 22 baskets made.
Daniel Gibson is missing the game after the team allowed him to return to Cleveland to deal with a personal matter. Gibson has also been dealing with a quad contusion.
On November 27, 2010 the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 92-86, improving to 7-9 on the season. Fans were cautiously optimistic that the Cavaliers would handle the departure of LeBron James better than anyone had thought. The showdown with James and the Miami Heat was a week away. Things looked OK.
Then the wheels fell off and the rest of the car fell apart. The Cavaliers have won just one game - an overtime win over the New York Knicks - since. They are 1-32 and have lost 22 straight games. Lose tonight in their rematch to the Grizzlies, and the Cavaliers will tie a NBA-record for consecutive single-season losses. Needless to say, both teams have a bit of motivation tonight.
Cleveland lost its 22nd consecutive game Wednesday night against Indiana, leading late in the fourth quarter before falling 117-112.
"It hurts," Scott said. "When you lose games it hurts, especially when you give yourself an opportunity to win, it hurts that much more. We had an opportunity."
A loss to Memphis (26-24) would tie the Cavaliers with the 1995-96 expansion Vancouver Grizzlies and 1997-98 Denver Nuggets for the longest single-season rut in NBA history.
Coach Lionel Hollins' club will hardly be seeing the same Cleveland team it lost to in November. Williams hasn't played since Jan. 15 because of a hip injury, Daniel Gibson has missed 10 games with various injuries and Varejao is out for the season with a torn ankle tendon.
"We have got to get a win," said guard Anthony Parker, one of just three players currently in the rotation who was with the Cavs last season. "In February, the schedule kind of turns in our favor to some degree. We have a lot of home games and we have got to find a way to get it done."
The Cavaliers will play 9 of their next 10 games over at The Q, so if there a run to be made, now is the time to make it.