The Memphis Grizzlies will look to match their franchise-record win streak Wednesday night when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Grizzlies reached the 30-win mark and extended their winning streak to 10 games Monday with a 136-106 home victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Memphis posted its second in-season, double-digit winning streak in franchise history, behind last season’s franchise-record 11-game winning streak. It is the longest active streak in the NBA and the league’s second double-digit winning streak of the season, behind the Brooklyn Nets’ 12-game streak.
Perhaps helping the Grizzlies’ chances is that Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell was ruled out Wednesday with a left groin strain.
Memphis enters Wednesday scorching hot from the field after shooting 53.1 percent overall and 43.2 percent from 3-point range in Monday’s win. The Grizzlies also tied the franchise record with their third straight game of at least 130 points.
Ja Morant had 29 points and seven assists, and Desmond Bane finished with 28 points on 10-of-12 shooting to lead the Grizzlies.
A spectacular one-handed dunk from Brandon Clarke over Phoenix forward Dario Saric midway through the fourth quarter highlighted the day for Memphis.
“As the play started to unfold and I saw him catch the ball, I thought it was going to be a wide-open dunk,” Morant said. “I was starting to get the (feeling) that people would stop jumping. But (Saric) was just another person that wanted to be on a poster.”
Jaren Jackson Jr. added 18 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. Tyus Jones tallied eight assists to just one turnover for the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies are the first team since the 1985 Los Angeles Lakers to score at least 115 points in each game of a 10-game winning streak. They are just the fourth franchise in NBA history to accomplish the feat, also joining the Denver Nuggets (1982, 1983) and the Boston Celtics (1959).
The Cavaliers are back on the road after claiming a 113-103 home win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday afternoon.
The Cavaliers, who were 2-3 on their recently completed road trip out West, trailed by seven late in the third quarter. But they recovered quickly in the final 12 minutes for the win.
“It’s a tough game, no doubt about it,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Time zones, travel, all that stuff. I think it’s why we got off to a little bit of a bumpy start. We were able to hang on, and I was proud of our guys being able to figure it out.”
The Cavaliers’ biggest challenge Wednesday might not be the Grizzlies, but instead coming up with a plan without Mitchell.
Mitchell strained his left groin with five minutes left in the third quarter of Monday’s game. Cleveland likely will turn to some combination of Caris LeVert, Lamar Stevens, Cedi Osman and Isaac Okoro to fill the scoring void.
Fellow star guard Darius Garland picked up the slack Monday, with three of his five 3-pointers coming in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Garland was just 5 of 14 from the floor through the first 36 minutes but got hot down the stretch — going 4-for-8 in the fourth, including 3-for-4 from long distance. He finished with a game-high 30 points and 11 assists, adding six boards and a steal in the win.
Jarrett Allen scored 24 points and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds while Evan Mobley supplied 19 points and eight boards.
–Field Level Media