Gooden leads Cavs over Memphis
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Drew Gooden scored 22 points and pulled down
15 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers held off a furious fourth quarter
rally to slip past the Memphis Grizzlies, 97-94. Brian Cardinal missed a
contested three-pointer to tie at the buzzer for the Grizzlies, who failed in
their bid to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Chucky Atkins led the Grizzlies with 17 points, and Mike Miller added 15 for
Memphis. Cardinal scored 12 and Dahntay Jones tallied 11 points for Memphis.
Damon Jones scored 21 points for Cleveland, which has won six of its last
seven games. LeBron James scored a quiet 15 points, and Zydrunas Illguaskas
added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers.
The Grizzlies opened the fourth quarter on a 12-0 run, and outscored the
Cavaliers 28-17 in the period, but were unable to get over the hump against
the home team. Memphis twice cut the Cleveland lead to one in the game’s final
minute, but was unable to hit the last shot, a three-point attempt by Cardinal
that Jones hotly contested.
“At the end of the day no one is going to care if we gave up a big
lead or not,” said James. “It’s about winning ballgames, and we won the
Cleveland controlled the game throughout, leading by as much as 21 points in
the first half, but Memphis made it interesting after the break.
“I’m very proud of the effort in the 2nd half,” said Grizzlies coach Mike
An Atkins driving layup brought the Grizzlies within 70-61 with under three
minutes left in the third quarter, but the Cavs quickly restored their double-
digit lead with two Jones free throws that gave Cleveland an 80-66 lead going
into the fourth quarter.
Gooden and the Cavaliers set the pace early, as the Cleveland forward scored
10 points during a 17-2 run in the first six-plus minutes of the first
quarter. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, were ice-cold, scoring only six points in
the game’s first 11 minutes.
Memphis broke through with a 13-5 run to bridge the first and second quarters,
and a Swift free throw brought the Grizzlies to within 27-19 just under two
minutes into the second period.
The Cavaliers came back with a 13-2 run in the last five minutes of the half
that pushed their lead to 50-29 and the eventually took a healthy 54-35 lead
Memphis rookie Kyle Lowry sustained an injury to his left wrist and did not
play in the second half…Gooden’s 22 points were a season-high…The
Grizzlies never led.