Despite Sexton’s 28 points, 6 assists, Cavaliers fall short in Memphis, 113-109
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Dillon Brooks scored 26 points, Ja Morant added 16 points and eight assists and the Memphis Grizzlies survived a late Cleveland rally to defeat the Cavaliers 113-109 on Friday night for their seventh straight win.
Brandon Clarke had 15 points while shooting 6 of 8 from the field, part of Memphis’ 51% shooting performance for the game.
Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 28 points and six assists, while Kevin Love added 19 points. Larry Nance Jr. finished with 16 points, as the Cavaliers lost their third straight and eighth in their last 10.
Cleveland had a chance to chip into the Memphis lead in the final seconds, but Love missed a pair of 3-pointers and the Cavaliers never got within one possession.
Memphis appeared to break open the game in the third quarter behind 15 points from Brooks, who was 5 of 7 from the field, including a couple of 3-pointers. The Grizzlies continually stretched the lead as the Cavs struggled from the field in the period.
And if that wasn’t enough, center Tristan Thompson was ejected after drawing his second technical of the game in an ongoing bickering with Grizzlies forward Jae Crowder. The two had drawn double-technicals earlier.
Despite falling behind by 18 early in the fourth, Cleveland got back within four at 113-109 when Love converted a trio of free throws with 52.3 left.
Cavaliers: Played their fifth game of a six-game road trip. … Darius Garland was 1 for 5 from 3-point range, ending a streak of 10 straight games with multiple 3-pointers. His 11 points kept alive his streak of 11 straight reaching double figures. … Thompson grabbed his third rebound of the game in the second quarter to pass Brad Daugherty (5,227) for third in Cavs history.
Grizzlies: Coach Taylor Jenkins announced before the game that former Memphis guard and defensive stalwart Tony Allen has been hired as head of player development for the G League Memphis Hustle. … More than 1,000 Murray State fans attended the game. Morant, the second pick in last summer’s draft, played for the Racers. Murray, Kentucky, is about a three-hour drive from Memphis. … Have shot at least 50% from the field in six of the past seven games. … With 113 points, Memphis has scored at least 110 in 13 straight games.
Cavaliers: travel to Chicago to face the Bulls on Saturday.
Grizzlies: host the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.