Cavaliers beat Grizzlies 110-98 to close in on playoff berth

CLEVELAND (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points, Jarrett Allen had 16 points and 10 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 110-98 on Wednesday night to move within a victory of wrapping up a playoff spot.

All-Star shooting guard Mitchell, who has been bothered by left knee soreness for two months, also had eight assists in just his 10th game since Feb. 15. The Cavaliers have lost 11 of their last 17, but sit fourth in the Eastern Conference.

Cleveland would lock up a top-six finish and its second straight playoff appearance with a victory Friday night over Indiana or a win Sunday over Charlotte. Both games are at home.

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Jake LaRavia scored a career-high 32 and made eight 3-pointers, and GG Jackson II had 22 points for injury-plagued Memphis, which has used an NBA-record 33 players this season. Scotty Pippen Jr. added 18 points and six assists.

The Grizzlies’ top four scorers — Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Marcus Smart and Jaren Jackson Jr. — were among their 12 players who missed the game because of injuries. They dressed an NBA-minimum eight.

Darius Garland had 16 points and nine assists, and Evan Mobley added 12 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and four blocked shots for Cleveland. The Cavaliers blew a 26-point lead in the second half of their previous game, losing 120-118 at the Los Angeles Clippers.

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Cleveland didn’t pull in front for good until midway through the third quarter at 62-59, when Mitchell fed Allen for a three-point play. Allen had 12 points and made all five of his field goal attempts in the period.

The Grizzlies held a 51-48 advantage at halftime, fueled by 21 points from LaRavia on a perfect 6-of-6 3-point shooting.


Grizzlies: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.

Cavaliers: Host Indiana on Friday night.

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