|Date of game: 4/23/2012
Recap: Memphis vs. Cleveland
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Marreese Speights and Marc Gasol led a balanced Memphis attack with 17 points apiece as the Grizzlies defeated the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, 109-101.
Speights also had 10 rebounds, while Rudy Gay added 15 points, O.J. Mayo dropped in 14 and Tony Allen contributed 13 points, eight rebounds and a franchise-record eight steals.
Mike Conley rounded out Memphis' double-digit scorers with 12 points as the Grizzlies earned their 10th straight victory at home.
With the win, Memphis pulled within a half-game of the idle Clippers for the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
Kyrie Irving finished with a game-high 25 points for Cleveland, which lost for the 17th time in its last 21 games.
"I'm very satisfied with how hard we're playing and especially how well we played tonight," said Cleveland head coach Byron Scott.
Memphis held a 55-52 lead at the half and it remained a one-possession game in the third quarter until Conley's three-pointer sparked a 15-5 run by the Grizzlies which gave them a 73-66 advantage with just under four minutes remaining in the frame.
But Cleveland closed out the third with a 12-4 push to carry a 78-77 edge into the fourth quarter.
The lead changed hands five times over the opening three minutes of the fourth as the teams traded baskets until a pair of Mayo field goals around an Omri Casspi jumper put the Grizzlies on top for good.
The Cavaliers would stay within striking distance, though, and managed to tie the game at 98 with 3:27 left in the game when a pair of Tristan Thompson foul shots capped a 7-2 spurt.
But Gasol put Memphis back on top with a jumper and sank a pair of shots from the line to give the Grizzlies a 102-99 edge a little later. Thompson then missed both of his free throws on the other end and Conley connected on a pullup jumper from the left elbow for a two-possession lead and the Grizzlies put the game away from the foul line from there.
"I thought that in the fourth quarter the group that was in there did an outstanding job, including when I put some of the starters back in the game. I thought we played well," said Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins.
A back-and-forth first quarter saw six ties, one lead change and neither team held a lead larger than four points until consecutive three-pointers by Alonzo Gee and Antawn Jamison gave the Cavaliers a 25-19 advantage with less than three minutes remaining in the opening frame.
Mayo connected on a trey at the other end to bring Memphis back within three, but the Grizzlies would get no closer than that and trailed, 32-26, at the end of the first.
After Donald Sloan's three-point play gave Cleveland a 41-31 lead just past the two-minute mark of the second quarter, Memphis reeled off a 22-5 run to take a 53-46 advantage on Speights' dunk before the Cavaliers closed out the half with a 6-2 spurt to get back within 55-52 at the break.Game Notes
Memphis held a 42-36 advantage on the glass and held a 40-38 edge in points in the paint...The game had a total of 12 lead changes and 12 ties...Jamison had 17 points and nine rebounds, while Thompson finished with 12 points and nine boards in the loss.