MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol scored 19 points apiece to help the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a lethargic performance and escape with an 84-78 victory over the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Rudy Gay added 15 points and Quincy Pondexter had 10, including 2-for-3 shooting from outside the arc, as NBA-leading Memphis (10-2) won its second straight.
Anderson Varejao had 15 points and 22 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass, to lead Cleveland. Dion Waiters scored 15 points on 5-for-16 shooting and Daniel Gibson added 11 points for the Cavs, who lost their third straight and ninth in their last 10 games.
The Cavs held the lead with 8:28 left, but Memphis closed the game on a 13-4 run. The Grizzlies outscored Cleveland 22-9 in the fourth quarter.
Memphis played without starting point guard Mike Conley, who sat out with flu-like symptoms, and his absence was evident within the offense.
Cleveland had a 41-33 advantage on the boards, while Memphis outscored the Cavs 44-38 in the paint.
Cleveland held a seven-point lead after three quarters but Memphis opened the final frame with a 12-5 run, tying it at 74 on back-to-back 3-pointers from Pondexter and Gay.
Cleveland didn’t surrender the lead until Tony Allen hit a pair of free throws with 2:49 left to give Memphis a 78-76 advantage. Randolph’s inside basket with 1:29 to play extended the margin to 80-76, but a rebound dunk by Alonzo Gee with 44.5 seconds left cut the lead to 80-78.
The Cavs then managed only a missed Varejao 3-pointer on their next possession. The Brazilian has made one shot from behind the arc in his career, but none of his teammates seemed to want the ball.
Cleveland used 50 percent shooting and a much more spirited approach than the Grizzlies to take a 47-42 lead at the half. Varejao had 11 points and 12 rebounds at the break.