Memphis TN - Western Conference who? On Wednesday night the Cavs worked to prove that they can hang with any team in the West after dismantling the Memphis Grizzlies, 111-89. Despite what many perceive as off the court drama, Kevin Love knocked in 22 points and recorded his 36
double-double of the season with 10 boards.
All five starters were in double figures for the Cavs. Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 24 and LeBron James contributed 20 points. Breakout center Timofey Mozgov added 14 while J.R. Smith had 13, including three three-pointers.
Every member of the Cavs roster was feeling hot tonight at some point—as a team they shot 51.2 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point land.
The Cavs would take a 5-4 lead less than three minutes into the game and never look back. The first quarter was highlighted by a monstrous two-handed slam from James in the paint that gave Cleveland a 9-7 lead. The Cavs were only up by three to end the first, but Mozgov, Love and Irving each contributed key dunks and fastbreak points throughout the quarter that helped set the tone for the rest of the game.
In the second quarter, the Cavs started to break away further and extend their lead to double digits for the first time after a layup from Mozgov that put them up, 34-24. The Cavs would go into the locker room with a twelve point lead at the half.
The game broke open in the third quarter as the Wine and Gold began putting on an offensive clinic. Four thre- pointers came in the third alone from Mathew Dellavedova, Smith, and Irving. Love and Mozgov continued their dominance over the Grizzlies bigs, and by the end of three the Cavs had turned their 12-point lead into a 25-point lead, 91-66.
Smith was not done, and while the fourth quarter was mostly filled with the Cleveland reserves, he still contributed two back-to-back three-pointers.
Despite the rumors off the court, the Cavs seem determined to prove that they can hang with the Western Conference come April. Their next game is Friday against the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn at 7:30 PM.