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Late heroics help Grizzlies top Cavs for 11th straight win

Jan 18, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley (4) and Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) defend as Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) drives to the basket during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Adams put back a missed Ja Morant layup and Dillon Brooks blocked a desperation 3-point attempt from Darius Garland as time expired to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to their 11th straight win, 115-114, over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

The 11 straight wins matches the Memphis franchise record and is one shy of Brooklyn’s 12-game run as the longest in the NBA this season.

The Grizzlies rallied after Evan Mobley hit a turnaround hook and a six-footer that put Cleveland up, 114-111, with 1:14 left.

Desmond Bane led Memphis with 25 points, including 5-for-8 shooting from 3-point range while Morant finished with 24 points and eight assists.

Garland had 24 points and 14 assists, knocking down five 3-point tries, to lead Cleveland. Caris LeVert had 23 points and Evan Mobley had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers.

Cleveland’s Isaac Okoro made all six shots he took on the night for the Cavaliers, including 4-for-4 from deep, in scoring 17 points. Jarrett Allen added 14 points and eight rebounds as all five Cleveland starters finished in double figures in scoring.

The Cavaliers did not have the services of star guard and leading scorer Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell, averaging 28.4 points per game, sat out with a strained left groin.

LeVert replaced Mitchell in the lineup and made his 21st start of the season. He started 4-for-5 from 3-point range and scored 12 of his 19 first-half points in the second quarter to keep Cleveland close.

Without Mitchell, the Cavaliers were able to race out to a 13-3 lead in the opening minutes against the hottest team in the Western Conference.

But the Grizzlies closed the quarter on an 11-5 run to take a 31-30 lead to the second quarter.

The Cavs led 39-38 before a 20-0 Memphis run put the Grizzlies ahead by 19. Soon after a Ja Morant dunk restored the Memphis lead to 19, Cleveland responded with a 20-8 spurt to cut the Memphis advantage to seven, 68-61, at the half.

Allen scored 10 points in a third-quarter surge for Cleveland that included a 14-3 spurt at the end of the period that gave Cleveland a 91-89 lead heading into the final periodr. Lamar Stevens drained a long jumper with his right foot on the 3-point line with 24.2 seconds left in the quarter that gave Cleveland its first lead since the second quarter.

–Field Level Media