Steven Adams saved the day with an offensive rebound and a put-back gave Memphis Grizzlies a 1-point lead in the nick of time. He ended the night with 13 points, and 10 rebounds and was mobbed by all his teammate after the final buzzer sound.
Both teams led the rest of the league in defensive rating. Coming off 10 straight wins Memphis. Cavs had 10 point advantage early first quarter before Memphis stormed back. Santi Aldama helped Memphis with four 3 points and a 20-point lead briefly in the 2nd quarter.
The Cavs’ 2nd-year player Isaac Okoro played an important role in easing the lead: making all his field goal attempts including 4 3-pointers. Darius Garland was the focal point: creating shots for himself as well as getting his teammate involved. He had a stellar performance with 24 points and 14 assists. The Cavs kept the game close without their leading scorer Donovan Mitchell. His replacement Caris LeVert had 23 points. Cavs took a 2-point lead into the early fourth quarter.
Adams’s training partner Evan Mobley (from 2 summers ago) shines in the 4th quarter: He uses his tall frame hitting most of his hook shots from the printed area with the defender right in his face, outscoring everyone with 10 points in the quarter. Mobley finished the game with 18 points and 15 rebounds.
Desmond Bane managed to score a game-high 25 points. Along with Ja Morant’s 24 points, their performance set the team up for the franchise win streak record.
Down to the wire:
The lead changed hands serval times during the 4th quarter. The Cavs have only one point advantage with 1 minute left on the game clock. A block from Jackson Jr on Garland’s layup attempt with 27 seconds left give Memphis hope. However, the Cavs are still leading by one point. Morant missed his final layup, but Steven Adams was there to save the day and Memphis’ win steak with a tip-in 2 points that gave Memphis the lead.
Dillon Brooks, who has been seen shadowing Garland within three feet distance since mid 4th quarter. With 16 seconds on the clock, Garland desperately tried to take the last shot. But ultimately what could’ve been a buzzer-beater turned into a game-saving block by Brooks.
The Grizzlies will play against the Lakers on Friday night (local time) for a 5-game road trip.