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Memphis at Cleveland

New Cavaliers contribute to thrashing of Grizzlies

CBSSports.com wire reports

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James and his new teammates didn't need any time getting acquainted.

James scored 25 points and had 11 assists while all four players acquired in Thursday's blockbuster trade contributed, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers past Memphis 109-89 Sunday night.

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As debuts go, these new-look Cavaliers were a smashing success. Cleveland built a 28-point lead midway through the second quarter and coasted to victory.

While emphasizing his team has a lot of work to do on the practice floor, Cavaliers coach Mike Brown was pleased with the result, which had the crowd at Quicken Loans Arena cheering the entire game.

"It brought some energy to the building," Brown said. "It was energy from the fans because of the new players."

Ben Wallace, who started at power forward, scored 12 points, tying his season high, and had 10 rebounds, while Delonte West, the starter at point guard, scored five points with six assists.

The other two players picked up in the deal, forward Joe Smith and guard Wally Szczerbiak, came off the bench late in the first quarter. Smith scored 14 points while Szczerbiak had 10.

James said he was certain the new players would help the team. At one point in the third quarter, the NBA's leading scorer was on the floor with all four of them.

"It was good to see all those guys play well," James said. "It was exciting to be on the floor with them."

Brown said the lineup and combinations he uses could change frequently until the players get comfortable playing together. The other three starters were James at power forward, Zydrunas Ilgauskas at center and Devin Brown at guard.

All four new players received loud ovations throughout the evening. The Cavaliers gave a video tribute to them before the game, fans were given "Welcome to the Family" signs and several "Big Ben" T-shirts were spotted in the crowd.

Wallace and Smith were acquired from Chicago while West and Szczerbiak were picked up from Seattle in the three-team, 11-player deal that was finalized minutes before the deadline.

Wallace, the target of criticism by Bulls fans, enjoyed his new home.

"The crowd was great," he said. "I didn't get booed. That's new for me."

James was pleased with Wallace's contributions.

"He showed it tonight, his ability to get up and rebound and his ability to throw down dunks," James said. "And he made free throws, too."

It didn't take long for the newcomers to make an impact. Wallace brought the crowd to its feet with a dunk less than two minutes into the game and West hit a 3 midway through the period.

Smith, who made his first four shots, hit a 17-foot jumper early in the second period while Szczerbiak scored on a layup off a feed from Devin Brown midway through the period. That basket gave the Cavaliers their biggest lead, 47-19.

"Anytime you play with LeBron, you're going to get open looks," Smith said. "I felt pretty comfortable with my shot and want to get to open spots."

One of the biggest ovations of the night came when Wallace, a 42 percent free throw shooter this season, knocked down two foul shots late in the first quarter.

While everything was positive from the Cavs' standpoint, Brown was still cautious.

"We've got to keep taking this thing one day, one game at a time," he said. Practice (on Monday) is going to be big for us because we can't afford to waste a day in trying to get better on both ends of the floor."

Memphis played without swingman Mike Miller, who missed his third straight game with a sore back. Ironically, it was rumored Miller would be traded to Cleveland as the deadline approached.

The Grizzlies, who have lost 10 of 11, cut the lead to 12 in the fourth period, but the huge deficit was too much to overcome. Hakim Warrick led Memphis with 21 points and Rudy Gay had 19.

"I was really proud of the way our guys came out of the locker room in the second half, as poorly as we played in the first half," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We came out a little bit waiting for something to happen instead of making something happen, and we got that result."


  • Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said before the game that the trade will cost the Cavaliers an extra $6 million.
  • Grizzlies G Kyle Lowry scored 13 points off the bench.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Ben Wallace soars in his Cleveland debut, scoring 12 point and grabbing 10 rebounds.  (AP)
Ben Wallace soars in his Cleveland debut, scoring 12 point and grabbing 10 rebounds. (AP)
Memphis (14-42) 1325292289
Cleveland (32-24) «32272327109
MEM:H. Warrick 21 Pts
MEM:H. Warrick 9 Reb
MEM:M. Conley 4 Ast
CLE:L. James 25 Pts
CLE:Z. Ilgauskas 13 Reb
CLE:L. James 11 Ast
Players of the Game

L. James

H. Warrick

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H. Warrick, PF438-155-591321
R. Gay, SG408-172-472319
J. Navarro, PG365-112-221014
K. Brown, C200-31-23121
M. Conley, PG204-72-514110
K. Lowry, SG285-113-423113
J. Collins, C150-12-42032
D. Milicic, PF121-20-04022
J. Crittenton, PG121-72-22014
B. Cardinal, PF111-40-01033
A. Brown, SF30-00-00000
A. McKie, SGDid Not Play
M. Miller, SFDid Not Play
C. Jacobsen, SGDid Not Play
M. Vinicius, SFDid Not Play
Totals 33-7819-2833121989
L. James, SF3910-174-5711225
B. Wallace, C345-62-4100212
D. West, SG312-120-01655
Z. Ilgauskas, C308-176-7130422
D. Brown, SG243-53-33629
W. Szczerbiak, SF324-100-010210
J. Smith, PF256-82-460514
D. Jones, PG174-60-023311
D. Jones, PF50-01-23031
K. Dickens, SF10-00-00100
B. Thomas, SG10-00-00000
E. Snow, PGDid Not Play
A. Varejao, CDid Not Play
S. Pavlovic, SGDid Not Play
D. Gibson, PGDid Not Play
Totals 42-8118-25462728109
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