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Cleveland Cavaliers

Gameblog: Cavs vs. Grizzlies

By George Thomas Published: January 13, 2009

Post mortem:
Cavs 102, Grizzlies 87
Want to sum this win up succinctly?  Two words:  LEBRON JAMES.  While the team wasn't necessarily flat, James lit the fuse that blew this one open.  He walked into the locker room with just nine points and left the game with 30.  Toss in 11 rebounds and 10 assists that inspired his teammates and you get a win.  No one, least of all Rudy Gay had any answers for James as he dunked, hit layups, made steals, grabbed rebounds and dished the ball of.  Was he alone in his effort?  Not even close.
The backcourt tandem of Mo Williams (16 points) and Delonte West (19 points) combined for 35 points. But it was his defense that proved key as he may as well have kept O.J. Mayo bound, gagged and locked in a broom closet. Mayo averages close to 20 points per game, but scored just six on the night.
Quotable:
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on West's defense:

O.J. Mayo is a great young player.  He is a guy who knows how to score in a lot of different ways.  Delonte did a nice job of making O.J. work for his looks.   Delonte had good team dfense behind him and he did a great job of making that young guy work.
From the locker room:
LeBron James on his triple-double:
I had no idea about the triple-double.  I'm just out there playing.  We really had to pick it up on the boards tonight.  We wanted to really get to the glass and put pressure on them. 
At the half:
Cavs 47, Grizzlies 44
Ummm...the Grizzlies shoot 35 percent, yet only trail by three at the half.   What's wrong with this picture.  Star with the Grizzlies getting 11 more trips to the free throw line than the Cavaliers and making the most of those shots.  Then there's the matter of the second chance points (6-0) the Grizzlies got in the half, including one on LeBron James for holding on to the rim that I've not seen call all season.   One of the myriad of things that irk me about the NBA - a lack of consistency.  Refereeing is so subjective in the league no player has any idea what they're going to get called for game go game.  To the second half.
Game:  Cavs (29-6) vs. Miami Heat (11-26)
Broadcast:  TV: FSOhio WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters:  Cavs:  LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Anderson Varejao (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G).  Grizzlies:  Rudy Gay (F); Darrell Arthur (F); Marc Gasol (C); O.J. Mayo (G); Kyle Lowery (G).
Injuries/inactives:  Cavs Eric Snow (knee); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (ankle).
Officials:  Greg Willard, Brian Forte and Jason Phillips
Streaking:  Cavaliers have won two in a row; the Grizzlies have lost three consecutive games.
Three things to watch:
  • Rudy Gay vs. LeBron James – Gay is having a decent season averaging more than 19 points per game.  James has been in lockdown mode on defense in recent games including last week’s masterful performance against Paul Pierce.
  • Grizzlies rookie O.J. Mayo – The talk with respect to NBA rookies has revolved around Chicago’s Derrick Rose.  Quietly, probably due to the size of the media market, O.J. Mayo has stated his case averaging more than 20 points per game. The Cavs Delonte West will get a workout tonight.  But he could also take advantage of Mayo’s defensive deficiencies, something even his coach acknowledges need much work.
  • Lorenzen Wright – Big Ben Wallace is down for the game with flu-like symptoms.  If another starter was going to go down, better it happen against the Grizzlies than next week against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Quotable:
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on potentially starting J.J. Hickson for Ben Wallace:
He’s playing well in his role now, so for me to start it with him probably won’t happen. I don’t want him thinking too much.  I just want him going to play and that’s what he’s done a solid job of doing so far.
Grizzlies Coach Marc Iavaroni on the Cavs this year:
Obviously LeBron is bringing the big time juice.  He’s on a mission. He’s bringing all of his gold medal experience and everyone is buying into what Mike Brown is doing.  He’s done a great job.
From the locker room:
Darius Miles on whether he’s surprised about what’s happened with his situation:
I’m not worried about any of that stuff.  It doesn’t bother me.  It doesn’t affect me at all as far as what they do. 
LeBron James on O.J. Mayo:
He’s not a rookie; I’ll tell you that.  He’s a really good talent. All he’s going to do is continue to get better,’’ James said. ‘’ Some guys are born for the NBA and college basketball sometimes doesn’t showcase what you have.
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