Role Reversal: Grizzlies late rally avenges Thursday loss to Cavaliers
Cavs drop 101-91 decision to Memphis
Memphis led 73-57 late in the third quarter, but Cleveland responded with a 27-8 run capped by Damyean Dotson’s basket with 6:43 remaining in the fourth to go ahead by three.
A 3-pointer by De’Anthony Melton put the Grizzlies back in front for good at 89-86 with 4:40 remaining. A putback by Jonas Valanciunas and two free throws by Jones with 1:15 left extended Memphis’ lead to six.
Point guard Collin Sexton warmed up and was expected to start but was a late scratch for Cleveland with a sprained left ankle. The third-year pro, who is averaging a team-high 25.1 points, missed his third game in a row.
Cleveland returned to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse after its longest road trip of the season, covering six games and 10 days. The Cavaliers beat the Grizzlies 94-90 four days earlier.
The Grizzlies took their largest lead at 73-57 on Desmond Bane’s uncontested layup. The 26-11 run to open the second half was highlighted by an alley-oop from Jones to Clarke.
Kyle Anderson collected four points, five rebounds and six assists in the first half as Memphis took a 47-46 advantage into the break. The Cavaliers led 27-24 after one quarter with Larry Nance Jr. posting 10 points and four rebounds.
The Ohio Department of Health permitted 1,944 fans inside the arena, which is 10% of capacity. Cleveland had been limited to 300 spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions.
NEXT MAN UP
Dotson made his third consecutive start filling in for Sexton. They were his first three NBA starts at point guard. “I give a lot of credit to Dot for helping us a ton,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “It’s not easy for a shooting guard to move to the point. Instead of just worrying about yourself, you have to worry about 14 other guys.”
Grizzlies: G Ja Morant (left ankle sprain) missed his seventh straight game after being injured on Dec. 28 at Brooklyn. The reigning Rookie of the Year is expected to return in late January. ... F Jaren Jackson Jr. (left knee surgery) and F Justise Winslow (left hip displacement) have not appeared in a game this season.
Cavaliers: G Yogi Ferrell was signed to a 10-day contract after the NBA granted a hardship exception. He was the first sub in the game. ... Cleveland has seven rotation players sidelined, including five-time All-Star F Kevin Love (right calf strain), G Darius Garland (right shoulder sprain) and G Kevin Porter Jr. (personal).
Grizzlies: Visit Minnesota on Wednesday. The teams will also play Friday at Target Center.
Cavaliers: Host Utah on Tuesday. Cleveland wraps up a stretch of five games in seven days.
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