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Cavs Notes

Cavaliers 112, Grizzlies 107: Kevin Love has huge game, then gets help from teammates in 2nd straight win

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    Cleveland's Kevin Love (0) and Collin Sexton celebrate in the second half Saturday during a win over Memphis at Quicken Loans Arena.

    AP

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CLEVELAND — Kevin Love put the Cavaliers in position to win and his teammates, after quickly blowing a five-point lead, brought it home.

Having reached his minutes limitation, the All-Star power forward watched from the bench down the stretch as Cedi Osman, Collin Sexton and Matthew Dellavedova sparked Cleveland to a 112-107 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

Playing in the fourth period for the first time since missing 50 games with a foot injury, Love finished with a season-high 32 points on 9-for-16 shooting, 6-for-9 threes and 8-for-8 at the line while adding 12 rebounds in a season-high 26 minutes. The Cavs outscored the Grizzlies by 14 points while he was on the floor.

“This is fun,” Love said. “A large part of my life and my identity is taken away when the game is taken away.”

The Cavs (14-46), who got 20 points, six boards and five assists from Sexton, 18 points and seven boards from center Ante Zizic, 11 mostly crucial points from Osman and 10 points and six assists from Dellavedova, have won two straight, three of their last four and five of their last 10, while the Grizzlies fell to 23-38.

“Right in the heat of battle, he was in such a good rhythm,” Cavs coach Larry Drew said of Love. “That’s when we need him the most, going down the stretch, your go-to player.

“It was hard having him out, but we knew going into the fourth quarter he had five or six minutes to play. ... We weathered the storm. Going down the stretch, we made the plays we had to.”

Love checked out of the game with 5:23 to play after scoring the first five points of a 7-0 run that put the Cavs up 99-94. Memphis immediately scored six straight points to retake the lead.

“I told L.D. with two or three minutes to play I was available,” Love said of Drew. “He looked at me and said, ‘You’re done.’

“It’s been so long since I’ve been out there at the end of the game, I was thirsty to get in here.”

Cleveland was down two following a 3-pointer by 7-foot Memphis center Jonas Valanciunas (25 points, 11 rebounds), but Osman hit a three and threw down a resounding dunk in transition to put the Cavs up 106-103 with 1:41 to play.

A 3-pointer by Sexton made it 109-103 at the one-minute mark, with Cleveland finally icing the game on a pair of Dellavedova free throws with 2.7 ticks on the clock. Dellavedova had six points and five assists in the fourth period.

“A lot of guys are stepping up and filling the stat sheet for us,” Love said.

It’s no coincidence that has occurred since the 6-10, 251-pounder returned to action.

“We missed him terribly,” Drew said. “We’re just happy he’s back. Hopefully he can stay healthy the remainder of the season.”

Love scored 10 quick points to start the third period as the Cavs stretched a seven-point halftime lead to 15, but Cleveland, which led by 18 early in the second quarter, was once again unable to sustain its solid play.

The Grizzlies, due mainly to a 17-9 third-period edge on the boards sparked by Joakim Noah, closed the quarter on a 26-9 run to grab an 84-82 lead, their first since early in the game.

“Hopefully I can have them lift this minutes restriction over the next few games and I’m able to play as much as L.D. needs me,” Love said.

Love had nine points and six rebounds in the first six minutes as the Cavs jumped to a 22-11 lead, then went to the bench as Cleveland went up 37-24 after one. The Cavs outrebounded the Grizzlies 21-5 in the opening period.

“It was really important to win this game,” Osman said. “We didn’t play our best game, but it’s really good to win when we’re playing bad.”

Contact Rick Noland at rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.

Cavs 112, Grizzlies 107

MEMPHIS (107): Holiday 4-7 0-0 10, Rabb 4-7 0-0 8, Valanciunas 11-19 2-3 25, Conley 5-12 8-8 18, Bradley 1-5 2-3 4, Parsons 1-7 2-2 4, Miles 1-6 0-0 3, Caboclo 2-5 0-0 4, Noah 5-8 6-10 16, Wright 6-14 2-2 15. Totals 40-90 22-28 107.

CLEVELAND (112): Osman 4-9 0-0 11, Love 9-15 8-8 32, Zizic 6-7 6-7 18, Sexton 8-16 0-0 20, Knight 2-5 0-0 4, Nance Jr. 2-6 0-2 4, Chriss 2-8 1-2 6, Dellavedova 3-7 3-4 10, Nwaba 1-3 0-0 2, Clarkson 2-10 0-0 5, Stauskas 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 39-88 18-23 112.

Memphis 24 32 28 23 — 107

Cleveland 37 26 19 30 — 112

3-Point Goals—Memphis 5-25 (Holiday 2-4, Valanciunas 1-1, Miles 1-3, Wright 1-3, Bradley 0-2, Rabb 0-2, Conley 0-3, Caboclo 0-3, Parsons 0-4), Cleveland 16-42 (Love 6-9, Sexton 4-6, Osman 3-6, Dellavedova 1-4, Chriss 1-5, Clarkson 1-6, Nance Jr. 0-1, Nwaba 0-1, Stauskas 0-1, Knight 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Memphis 43 (Valanciunas 11), Cleveland 52 (Love 12). Assists—Memphis 18 (Rabb, Noah 4), Cleveland 25 (Dellavedova 6). Total Fouls—Memphis 21, Cleveland 26. Technicals—Noah, Memphis coach JB Bickerstaff. A—19,432 (20,562).

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