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Cavaliers fall to Grizzlies 91-81 in Columbus, remain winless in preseason

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The Cavs lose to the Grizzlies in Columbus and remain winless in the preseason.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers, not surprisingly, are a different team in the preseason when Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Mo Williams and J.R. Smith are out. It showed in Cleveland's 91-81 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night in Columbus.

"I think of the three games, this was not one of the better ones," Cavs coach David Blatt said after the game.

The Cavs started Matthew Dellavedova at point guard in place of Williams and gave Richard Jefferson the nod at shooting guard alongside LeBron, Anderson Varejao and Timofey Mozgov.

With the Grizzles at full strength, Memphis dictated the flow of the game. Aside from a LeBron breakaway dunk in the third quarter, the crowd was mostly quiet and the Cavs were forced to play behind from the start. For the night, the Cavs shot just 39 percent from the field and Jefferson was the only starter to shoot at least 50 percent from the field.

James, who will not play tomorrow vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, played 25 minutes and scored 14 points on 6-15 shooting. Seemingly every time LeBron touched the ball, the mostly-full Schottenstein Center anticipated LeBron doing making plays. LeBron even drew a larger pop than Grizzles guard Mike Conley, who played at Ohio State for one year before declaring for the NBA draft.

By the fourth - with ever starter sans Mozgov out of the game - the Cavs were down by 10 aside from a run that brought the game within one with 5:16 left to the play, remained out of the game. The Grizzles, however, pulled away late behind forward Jarnell Stokes and guard Lazeric Jones.

Jared Cunningham, coming off a 31-point performance against the 76ers, finished with 13 points off the bench.

James, who will not play tomorrow vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, played 25 minutes and scored 14 points on 6-15 shooting. Seemingly every time LeBron touched the ball, the mostly-full Schottenstein Center anticipated LeBron doing making plays. LeBron even drew a larger pop than Grizzles guard Mike Conley, who played at Ohio State for one year before declaring for the NBA draft.

"It was fun," LeBron said. "The fans are always great to us."

Despite the Cavs being 0-3, the Cavs still aren't worried - it's the preseason.

"I think we did some things good. We've got a few guys out right now," LeBron said. "That's okay - that's what the preseason is."