MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Down the stretch, the Cavaliers were missing their leader, Kyrie Irving in Memphis. It resulted in the Grizzlies taking a late lead at 78-76 and holding the Cavs at bay the rest of the way in posting a 84-78 win over the Wine and Gold.
Anderson Varejao hit a jumper at the third quarter buzzer and the Cavs carried a 7 point lead into the final stanza that they could not protect.
The Cleveland offense was horrible in the fourth quarter, as Memphis roared ahead.
The Cavaliers still held the lead with 8:28 left, but Memphis closed the game on a 13-4 run, part of the Grizzlies outscoring Cleveland 22-9 in the final stanza.
Varejao was a rebounding machine again, pulling down 22 boards, close to his career high. Eight of those rebounds were on the offensive end, but no matter how many second chances he gave his team, they could not connect. Varejao had 15 points, which matched Dion Waiters for team high. Daniel Gibson came off the bench to score 11, but it was slim pickings after that.
Memphis was led by Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, each with 19 points as the winners shot 46 percent to the Cavs 40 percent.
The Phoenix Suns will be at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday night.