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Cleveland at Memphis

LeBron tabs triple-double as Cavs blow out Grizzlies

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- LeBron James was the only healthy frontcourt player for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He was more than enough.

James had 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double of the season, leading the Cavaliers to a 102-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.

With Zydrunas Ilgauskas sidelined by a fractured left ankle and Ben Wallace out with the flu, Cleveland was missing 40 percent of its starting lineup.

James scored only nine points in the opening half, then had 17 in the third quarter and completed his triple-double -- to his surprise -- with a behind-the-back pass to J.J. Hickson for a layup in the fourth.

"I had no idea," James said. "The first time I knew was when I got the stat sheet. I'm just out there playing. Two of our guys are out so everyone had to step up, including myself."

Delonte West added 19 points and Mo Williams 16 for the Cavs. Anderson Varejao was held to seven points and four rebounds after averaging 16 points and eight boards the past four games in place of Ilgauskas.

Cleveland coach Mike Brown was impressed that James didn't force anything to make up for the absent teammates.

"It's not just about jacking up 3s and taking bad shots," Brown said. "It's about attacking the basket. LeBron has had this type of game before. He played a different way tonight by taking it upon himself to get this team scoring the right way."

Kyle Lowry led the Grizzlies with a career-high 25 points, including 15 from the free throw line, and reserve Hakim Warrick had 16 points and seven rebounds. Rookie guard O.J. Mayo was limited to six points, a season-low.

The Grizzlies also got 13 points in 13 minutes from Darius Miles, who signed a 10-day contract Saturday and is one game away from reaching the 10 appearances that would put the remaining $18 million of his salary back on Portland's payroll.

Cleveland trailed for only a minute in the first half and stretched a 10-point lead at the end of the third quarter to as many as 20 points in the fourth. The Cavs shot 53 percent, including 57 percent from 3-point range, in their 30th victory of the season. The Cavaliers became the fourth team to reach 30 wins, joining Boston, Orlando and the Los Angeles Lakers.

"They made their push in the third quarter and it made it difficult for us to get back in it," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We struggled with containing LeBron James on the high pick-and-roll."

Memphis dropped its fourth straight and lost for the 12th time in 14 games.

"We've got to battle and find a way to win games," Lowry said. "I don't know what it is. We just seem like when we get hit, we get hit hard. We try to bounce back, but the balls keep bouncing the wrong way."

The Grizzlies started slowly, missing their first five shots to fall behind 7-0. After having not led at any point during back-to-back losses entering the game, Memphis recovered to lead briefly, 13-12. It was the Grizzlies' only lead.

With James allowing his teammates to take most of the shots in the first half, the Cavaliers never built more than a nine-point lead. The Grizzlies made a run late in the second quarter as Lowry and Warrick fueled an 11-4 spurt that closed the gap to 47-44 at the half.

"I was taking what the defense gave me in the first half," James said. "I play the game the right way. I let the game come to me. I took advantage of it in the third quarter."

Notes

  • Grizzlies rookie forward Darrell Arthur started and played 10 minutes in the first half before leaving the game with a hamstring injury. He did not return.
  • Memphis native Lorenzen Wright, who played at the University of Memphis, made his first start of the season for Cleveland. Wright, playing in his 11th game, started for Wallace.
  • James received a technical foul in the first for hanging on the rim and slapping the backboard.
Copyright 2014 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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LeBron James earns his second triple-double of the season in the Cavs' victory.  (Getty Images)
LeBron James earns his second triple-double of the season in the Cavs' victory. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Cleveland (30-6) «26212926102
Memphis (11-27) 2024222187
CLE:L. James 30 Pts
CLE:L. James 11 Reb
CLE:L. James 10 Ast
MEM:K. Lowry 25 Pts
MEM:M. Gasol 11 Reb
MEM:K. Lowry 7 Ast
Players of the Game
MemphisCleveland

K. Lowry

L. James
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
2537301110
Cleveland
L. James, SF409-1511-141110230
M. Williams, PG366-111-213416
D. West, SG327-92-264219
A. Varejao, C303-71-44047
L. Wright, C151-50-23032
J. Hickson, PF284-71-27049
D. Gibson, PG263-42-202011
W. Szczerbiak, SF212-70-05035
D. Jackson, PF80-10-01040
S. Pavlovic, SG21-10-00003
T. Kinsey, SF20-00-01000
J. Williams, F10-10-00000
Z. Ilgauskas, CDid Not Play
E. Snow, PGDid Not Play
B. Wallace, CDid Not Play
Totals 36-6818-28391926102
 52.9%64.3% 
Memphis
M. Gasol, C402-42-411026
R. Gay, SG375-180-141510
O. Mayo, SG313-90-02136
K. Lowry, SG305-1115-1637225
D. Arthur, PF111-22-22014
H. Warrick, PF277-112-670416
G. Buckner, SG181-42-22014
M. Conley, PG181-40-02023
D. Miles, SF144-65-700013
M. Jaric, SF100-00-01010
H. Haddadi, C50-00-03100
S. Francis, PGDid Not Play
Q. Ross, SFDid Not Play
D. Milicic, PFDid Not Play
Totals 29-6928-3837102187
 42.0%73.7% 
Other Games
Char 80 Final
Det 78
Mia 99 Final
Min 96
LAL 105 Final
Hou 100
Dal 97 Final
Den 99
Atl 102 Final
Pho 107
Orl 139 Final
Sac 107