|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT23:00 , December 26, 2018
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee Attendance: 16,424
Cavs, Grizz hope to hit reset button
Cleveland Cavaliers at Memphis Grizzlies
- The Cavaliers won both games played between these teams last season, and have won six of eight overall over the Grizzlies. Cleveland has won three of its last four road games at Memphis, holding the Grizzlies to an average of 86.8 points in those games.
- Cleveland has lost three games in a row, allowing an average of 116.0 points on 52.9 percent shooting from the field. Opponents are shooting an NBA-best 48.6 percent overall against the Cavs this season.
- The Grizzlies ended a five-game losing streak with a 107-99 victory against the Lakers on Sunday. Prior to that win, Memphis had failed to reach 100 points in eight straight games, which was the longest such streak by any team this season.
- Over its last two games, Memphis has averaged 15 three-point makes at 51.7 percent, after averaging 7.4 made threes at 28.9 percent over its previous nine games. The Grizzlies are 12-3 (.800) this season when shooting at least 35.0 percent from three, and 5-13 (.278) when failing to reach that mark.
- Over his last four games (all starts), Larry Nance Jr. is averaging 15.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists on 61.9 percent shooting. In his last four games against Memphis, Nance has averaged 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds on 60.0 percent shooting.
- Mike Conley has connected on 15 three-pointers over his last three games, the most he has ever made in any three-game span in his career. Conley's three-point percentage has increased each month this season: October -- 28.2 percent, November -- 36.4 percent, December -- 42.4 percent.
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MEMPHIS -- Two teams not included among the 10 in Tuesday's Christmas Day extravaganza hope a two-day break gets them going in a positive direction when the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Having Christmas off was a new experience for the Cavaliers, who have ridden LeBron James' huge popularity to prime spots on the holiday schedule the last four years.
Cleveland played Golden State in NBA Finals rematches the most recent three of those four years, losing two of the three.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have never been called upon to play on Christmas. They have, however, been scheduled the day after the holiday each of the last seven seasons, losing all seven.
The last time the Grizzlies won on the day after Christmas was a 104-90 victory at Indiana in 2010. The last time they won a home game on Dec. 26 was 10 years ago in a 108-105 triumph over the Pacers.
Memphis has retained Mike Conley and Marc Gasol over that decade-long stretch. In fact, the duo combined for 26 points in the 2008 win over the Pacers.
Not surprisingly, the veterans played a complementary role to younger legs when rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. went for 27 points in a 107-99 road win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at the end of a four-game Western swing.
The Grizzlies had lost the first three games on the trip to temporarily fall back to .500 (16-16) for the first time since 2-2.
Conley and Gasol scored 17 points apiece in the win, but Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff has seen that before.
After the game, he found himself gushing over the franchise's new weapon.
"With that size, length and speed, he's a tough matchup," he said of the 6-foot-11 Jackson. "The skill set is unique."
The Grizzlies, whose two-game homestand includes a visit from Boston on Saturday, will be seeing the Cavaliers for the first time since James bolted for the Lakers. No doubt, they are glad he's no longer around.
The James-led Cavaliers won at Memphis in three of the last four seasons, whereas the Grizzlies beat Cleveland four straight while the superstar was on his four-year hiatus to Miami.
The Cavaliers haven't had Christmas off since 2013, the last time they didn't employ James.
They embark on a three-game trip to Memphis, Miami and Atlanta having lost three in a row, including a humiliating 112-92 blowout at home to Chicago on Sunday.
The Cavaliers have allowed 106 or more points in 11 of their last 14 games, losing on 10 of those 11 occasions.
"There's very few aspects of defense that we are good at right now," Larry Nance Jr. proclaimed after the Chicago loss. "The league knows that. We're last in points allowed and last in a lot of different things. That's something that doesn't get better with technique.
"It's heart. It's will. It's something where we are letting guys have career nights on us. That's something that we have to take personally."
Updated December 25, 2018