Ja Morant had 37 factors and 6 assists, De’Anthony Melton added 20 factors and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away within the fourth for a 132-121 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday evening within the opener for each groups.
Morant and Melton mixed for 14 factors down the stretch because the Cavaliers pulled inside some extent on a few events however might by no means overtake Memphis. Desmond Bane added 22 factors for Memphis.
Jarrett Allen led the Cavaliers with 25 factors, hitting all 11 of his photographs from the sphere. Allen is the primary participant since within the shot-clock period (since 1954) to go 10 of 10 or higher in a season opener. It’s additionally the second time in his profession that he’s gone 11 for 11. He additionally did it on Feb. 21, 2021, towards Oklahoma Metropolis.
Collin Sexton and rookie Evan Mobley added 17 factors every. Cedi Osman, keyed a first-half burst and completed with 15.
The Cavaliers, who trailed by as many as 16 within the first half, chipped away on the Memphis lead, trailing by 94-90 heading to the fourth. Allen had hit all 9 of his photographs from the sphere, and Osman had missed just one, going 5 of 6 by the primary three quarters.
However Memphis opened the fourth quarter with 10 straight factors to create some area. The Cavaliers had yet one more push — attending to 119-118 with slightly below two minutes left. However Morant’s floater and a layup by Melton clinched the victory.
Memphis broke open an in depth sport within the second quarter as Melton linked on a trio of 3-pointers early within the body and Cleveland struggled from the sphere. In the meantime, Morant continued to get to the rim, changing 10 of 15 photographs within the first half.
Morant scored 20 within the half because the Grizzlies stretched the result in as many as 16 within the second quarter, finally taking a 73-61 lead into the break. The 73 factors was the fifth-highest for a primary half in franchise historical past.
Allen had 14 first-half factors to guide the Cavaliers.
Cavaliers: Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff coached the Grizzlies from 2017-2019. … C Evan Mobley, the third general decide in final summer time’s draft, scored on the Cavs first possession, pulling down a 15-footer. … Allen tied a profession excessive with three steals.
Grizzlies: G/F Dillon Brooks was out of motion recovering from a left hand fracture. …Memphis is now 6-21 in season openers in franchise historical past. The final opening win for the Grizzlies was in 2017 over the New Orleans Pelicans. … Bane picked up Memphis’ first technical of the yr, punching the air when he was known as for a foul within the second quarter.
Cavaliers: Play their house opener Friday, entertaining the Charlotte Hornets.
Grizzlies: Journey to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Saturday within the opener of a four-game West Coast swing.