The Memphis Grizzles without four starters in the lineup upset a healthy Cleveland Cavaliers team 106-103 on Monday night. Tony Allen scored 26 points leading the way.
”The guys played their hearts out,” Memphis coach David Joerger said according to Fox Sports. ”We had guys cramping, but they left it all out there. It’s a happy locker room. The phones are blowing up from everybody in Memphis. All of our guys that (are) back home like Marc (Gasol) and Birdman (Andersen) are jumping and down in their living room right now.”
Certainly the Cavaliers didn’t expect a game against nine dressed players on the Grizzles. Out-man and playing grit basketball on the road, they came away with the one of the big upsets of the year. Allen missed eight games prior to the his return against the Cavaliers, played well offensively and defensively.
One of the latest additions for the Grizzles is Lance Stephenson, who scored 17 points and contributed to the Cavaliers having a season-high 25 turnovers. Much of it can be overconfidence from the Cavaliers as they look ahead rather than play a game on their season.
”I just thought they were tougher than us tonight,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. ”Thought they played hard and out-scrapped us. You got to respect everybody in this league. Everyone gets a paycheck.”
LeBron James had 28 points and Kyrie Irving 27, which didn’t help considering the amount of turnovers they produced against a good defensive team. All the pressure is on them to get back to the Finals. The Cavaliers know games like this can be either a step back or a motivation factor on the team’s psyche. Only a few games left in the season and no doubt they will be a top two team in the eastern conference, but how can they compete with the western conference teams?