Thanks to LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers are winners of 11 straight games.
James scored 15 points — including 13 in a row — in the fourth quarter of the Cavs’ 116-11 win over the Grizzlies on Saturday. He finished the game with a game-high 34 points to go along with 12 assists and two rebounds.
Kevin Love added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavs, while J.R. Smith scored 17 points on 6-8 shooting. Dwyane Wade added 16 points off the bench. Tyreke Evans led Memphis with 31 points, while Marc Gasol added 27 points and six rebounds.
The Cavs started the game off slow, as the Grizzlies held an early edge. With 4:24 left in the first quarter, the Cavs trailed by 11, forcing Tyronn Lue to call a timeout. But the Cavs cut the lead down to as few at two over the final stretch of the quarter, and trailed 32-28 after one.
It was in the second quarter where the Cavs took over. A lineup of Dwyane Wade, Cedi Osman, Kyle Korver, Jeff Green and Channing Frye opened the quarter and took the lead back with 8:54 to play. By the time James checked in for Osman with 5:57, the Cavs led by two points. When he exited the game with 1:29 left in the first quarter, Cleveland trailed Memphis by seven.
James, who had four points in the first quarter, then pushed the Cavs’ lead into double digits. Three times during the quarter, James founded himself guarded by a smaller defender — twice against Mario Chalmers, once against Dillon Brooks — and completed an and-one. His 11 point, two-assist quarter put the Cavs up by 14 points heading into the half. He capped it off, too, by hitting a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer, giving the Cavs a 66-42 lead.
The Cavs led by 11 heading into the fourth quarter quarter before it got shaky. After Cleveland repelled an initial Memphis comeback, a Brooks three-pointer tied the game with 2:11 to play. From there, James responded with five points on the Cavs’ next two possessions to give the Cavs from distance. A James make from 25 feet with five seconds left, followed up by a Grizzlies turnover, sealed Cleveland’s win.
The Cavs next play on Monday on the road against the Chicago Bulls. Tipoff is at 8 p.m.