NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, November 26th (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (3-10) at Memphis Grizzlies (9-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Cleveland Cavaliers failed to close out the defending champions over the weekend en route to a disappointing second straight loss.
They had similar issues last season against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Cavs hope to find a way to win on the road Monday night as they take on one of the league's top teams in the Grizzlies.
Cleveland opened a three-game road trip with a four-point setback to the Orlando Magic on Friday, but were in solid position to pick up a much-needed win over the Miami Heat the following night, holding a seven-point lead with just under two minutes left to play.
However, the Heat closed out the game on a 9-0 run and handed the Cavs a 110-108 defeat, leaving Cleveland head coach Byron Scott wondering where his team's killer instincts are.
"We played hard coming off a back-to-back," Scott said. "Our guys showed a lot of guts, but little things are killing us, especially toward the end of games. We just haven't figured out how to win."
Playing for a third straight game without Kyrie Irving, who is expected to miss four weeks with a broken finger, Cleveland lost its seventh in a row on the road and is just 3-10 overall on the season.
Jeremy Pargo had 16 points and matched a career high with seven assists and Dion Waiters added another 16 points for the Cavaliers, who lost despite having eight players reach double figures in the same game for the first time since Jan. 30, 2007.
Omri Casspi drained four 3-pointers en route to a season-high 15 points in defeat. Anderson Varejao logged his fourth straight double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds, five offensive. He leads the NBA with 14.1 rebounds per game, just ahead of Memphis' Zach Randolph (13.6).
Cleveland visited Memphis in the lone meeting between the clubs a season ago and led 100-99 with 1:45 left in the game, but the Grizzlies closed out the game on a 9-2 run to log an eight-point victory. It was the Cavaliers' second straight loss in this series and third in a row at Memphis.
The Grizzlies had six players reach double figures in that win on April 23, including all five starters. That was also the case in the team's most recent trip to the floor, an impressive 106-98 win over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers.
Memphis rebounded after having an eight-game win streak snapped last Monday versus the Denver Nuggets in the opener of a five-game homestand. Rudy Gay paced the offense on Friday with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
"We played team basketball, moved the ball around and made them work," Gay said.
Randolph notched his 11th double-double in as many games this season with 17 points and 12 rebounds, Mike Conley had 19 points and Marc Gasol finished with 14 and eight assists. Tony Allen contributed 12 points.
11/26 10:36:34 ET