CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – There was no 4th quarter comeback Friday night for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Despite seeing their double digit lead trimmed to 88-84 with 5:21 to play in the 4th, the Memphis Grizzlies were able to hold off the Cavaliers and come away with a 102-93 win at Quicken Loans Arena.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists while Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless added 17 points apiece.
Memphis, winners of 11 of their last 12, shot 59 percent in the second half to improve to 12-4 since dealing Rudy Gay to Toronto.
Kyrie Irving, who was doubtful after missing shootaround Friday morning with flu-like symptoms, started and led Cleveland with 24 points.
“Two words for you, 3rd quarter,” coach Byron Scott said. “And that might have been the last 4 home games where we come out like that in the 3rd quarter. We just got lucky and got away with it in the Utah game.”
The Cavaliers went into the locker room with a 51-48 advantage before Memphis scored the first 10 points of the 2nd half and went on a 16-5 run to take an 8 point lead at 64-56 midway through the 3rd.
“Don’t have an answer for you,” Irving said of the problems after halftime. “I’m trying to figure it out.
“The 3rd quarter just killed us.”
The Grizzlies outscored Cleveland 32-18 in the 3rd to lead 80-69 heading to the 4th.
“I don’t have any idea but we have to regain that focus when we come back out,” Scott said. “For some reason I think we’re somewhere else when we come out. Game starts and we’re still somewhere else until we get down a little bit then all of the sudden the game has caught our attention.”
Alonzo Gee, who scored 12 points to go with 5 rebounds, ended the first quarter by getting off and hitting a 68 foot shot with 0.8 left to trim the Grizzlies lead to 23-19 after 1.
Dion Waiters missed the previous 2 games due to illness and returned to the starting lineup. Waiters went 0-4 from the floor in 21 minutes and finished with 3 points.
Wayne Ellington and Marreese Speights, acquired from Memphis on Jan. 22 in a salary dump deal for the Grizzlies, scored 9 and 7 points respectively against their former team.