The Memphis Grizzlies responded in positive fashion after the end of one of their longest win streaks in franchise history and might have the opportunity to start another run during the remainder of their season-high homestand.
The Grizzlies will welcome three struggling opponents in a row to FedExForum, beginning with Monday night's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Memphis fell just short of a franchise-record ninth consecutive win and lost for the first time in 16 regular-season contests at home last Monday, 97-92 to Denver. After getting a couple days off, the Grizzlies responded with a 106-98 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
Rudy Gay scored 21 points while helping his team extend its best start in franchise history and Zach Randolph recorded his 11th consecutive double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Grizzlies (9-2) also scored 29 points off 18 turnovers, extending the NBA's longest active streak of 10 or more to 115 games.
"It was good to get the bad taste out of our mouth," center Marc Gasol said. "We really wanted to come out and show our fans we want to play."
The Grizzlies might provide some more wins for their fans over the next three games with Cleveland (3-10), Toronto (3-11) and Detroit (3-11) visiting this week. The Cavaliers are among the worst defensive teams in the league, allowing 102.2 points per game, and have especially labored to contain opponents while going 1-8 on the road.
"We've got to get up for every game," Randolph said. "(Cleveland is) going to play hard so we've got to have energy. Everyone's going to come with their 'A' game so we have to be ready."
The Cavaliers have given up more than 100 points in all but one game away from home this season and allowed a combined 218 in closes losses to Orlando and Miami to open a three-game road trip.
After falling 108-104 to the Magic on Friday, Cleveland allowed the Heat to rally from a seven-point deficit in the final 1:53 of a 110-108 loss. Former Grizzlies guard Jeremy Pargo and Cavaliers first-round draft pick Dion Waiters each had 16 points to lead eight players in double figures.
"Our guys showed a lot of guts, but it's just the little things that are killing us, the little things that are killing us especially at the end," coach Byron Scott said. "We just haven't figured it out yet and we did a couple of bonehead things towards the end of the game."
The Cavaliers have lost by a combined 17 points in their last three visits to Memphis and allowing an average of 110.7 points in those games hasn't helped. The Grizzlies pulled away late in last season's only matchup, a 109-101 victory in Memphis on April 23.
They earned that win despite Randolph producing just three points and five rebounds over 20 minutes. He totaled 61 points and 27 rebounds in the previous two visits from Cleveland.
Kyrie Irving had a team-best 25 points for Cleveland in last year's trip to Memphis but won't play in this game. The reigning rookie of the year, averaging 22.9 points in 10 games this season, is out for at least three more weeks with a broken left index finger.
The Associated Press News Service
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