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Final Score: Cleveland Cavaliers nab 108-101 win vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Another day, another Cavs win.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Final: Cleveland Cavaliers 108, Memphis Grizzlies 101.

Nightly Notables

Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs with 25 points 10-19 shooting, including a 3-9 mark from three. Caris LeVert added 16 points, including 6 points in the fourth quarter. Allen finished with 14 points and 9 rebounds, while Max Strus added 11 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists.

Allen did leave the game with an ankle sprain and did not return. That led to the Cavs playing Dean Wade at the five to close out the game — a look Cleveland had sparingly used this year. It worked here, though, with the Cavs winning the second half by 15 points.

Well, that happened…

Throw some respect on J.B. Bickerstaff’s name for how he managed this game.

For one, opting to go small to close the game and not play Damian Jones was bold. Jones hasn’t been good overall on the season, but he’s played better of late and put forth a decent shift against the Grizzlies in the first half. But by going small with Wade at the five and spacing out the floor, Bickerstaff unlocked looks that won the game for Cleveland. Bickerstaff pulled the right lever.

He also won a challenge at a key time in the fourth quarter, getting a foul call on Max Strus reversed. Bickerstaff was fully on it for this game and is right up there with how any of the players played for why Cleveland won this game.

Big Picture

With Joel Embiid’s injury, there is a real window the the Cavs here to push for a higher seed in the East and perhaps push for as high as the No. 2 seed in the East. Or, at the very least, get onto the opposite side of the bracket of the Boston Celtics. There is real value and real opportunity in ending up as the No. 2 or No. 3 seed vs. the No. 4 seed in pursuit of a real playoff run. Every win will help Cleveland push toward that goal.

Up next: The Cavs head to Texas next to play the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.