(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
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
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.
The Sports Network