Wednesday , Jun , 23 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Best NBA Game of the Season 2003-2004

Sure the season is over and done with, but the memories will last lifetime right? OK OK a little bit over the top I know but it’s time, before we forget, to look back at my own personal game of the year.

Best NBA Game of the Season 2003-2004

November 29, 2003

Gund Arena

Cleveland, Ohio

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Cleveland Cavaliers It didn’t start off like much of a game, sure for the first couple of minutes it was back and forth and tied up, after one quarter the Cavs had a 35-14 lead and Jason Williams of Memphis left the game after only 4 minutes with a back problem and the Grizzlies were already without starting center Lorenzen Wright (though the Cavs were without injured Carlos Boozer). The first half it was all Lebron and the Cavs, Ricky Davis, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas all had big half’s and other then Pau Gasol and Mike Miller Memphis did very little right, and trailed by 16 at the half. Third quarter came and went with the lead still the same, enter the fourth quarter Cavs up by 16 at home.

Lead would actually get up to 18, before something you don’t see to often occurred, Memphis went on a 18-0 run to tie the score with about two minutes left to play, with the crowd is some state of either awe or shock (hard to

tell) the last two minutes promised to be very exciting. It was a one-point Cavs lead when Lebron stole a lazy Grizz pass and raced down court for the emphatic dunk and three-point lead that seemed to have sealed the Grizzlies fate. But as always in the NBA it’s not over till it’s over, with under 10 seconds left Shane Battier calmly and coolly drained the tying three-ball to tie things up, but left the Cavs time to still get off a quality shot.

(Quick side note those last 2 minutes were basically Lebron scoring at will with jumpers and drives to the hoop, and Gasol just tearing apart the Cavs weak interior defense, excellent stuff.)

With the last shot in the 4th Paul Silas decided, wisely, to run a play for James. Unfortunately for the Cavs and their fans, James’ shot at the buzzer came up just a bit short and the Cavs had effectively blown an 18-point lead and we’re headed into overtime.

As Lebron continued to wow and dazzle in this OT, he also made some very costly turnovers that kept it tight the whole way, as again after a break-away jam, chest thumping and shouting “This is my house!” James and the Cavs again had a three-point lead with about 3 seconds left. But those pesky Grizzlies weren’t just going to crawl away into hibernation, no, as Mike Miller got free and drilled a typing three from WAY outside the arc, absolutely great shot. So on we go into a second OT as the Gund crowd again sits in shock.

This game was decided in the second OT by two things Lebron’s turnovers and the Cavs complete inability to stop Gasol. Ilgauskas the only real effective Cavs big man had fouled out and Gasol was free to score at will or get to the foul line where he went 13-of-18. The Cavs still had a chance down by 5 with the ball, but James dribbled himself into trouble then jumped to pass to Davis who wasn’t there, and it lead to a easy Stromile Swift jam to put the game away, as Swift and Battier came off the Grizz bench to combine for 41 points and 20 rebounds.

In the end the game was a classic, sure the Cavs fans went home totally disappointed but if you looked at it from the point of view of just what an incredible NBA game it was, then I’m sure they were as pleased as I was.

Besides how often do you get to see two guys have career scoring nights in the same game, Lebron had 33 (at the time it was a high for him), and Gasol had 37, though at the buzzer Lebron’s 8 turnovers, and the Grizzlies clutch three-point shooting decided this contest.

Hold on we’re not done yet you as the reader and fan have one more duty, we here at want to know about YOUR favorite game of the year, whether it was a game you attended or saw on TV, or even played in, NBA, college, high school, local court, whatever wherever let us all know about it, so either e-mail me at [email protected] or even better drop a note into the forum and let the world know.