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Cavs, Grizzlies square off on Beale Street

9:43 AM, Apr 23, 2012   |    comments
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The playoff-bound Memphis Grizzlies are in the midst of closing out the regular season with a three-game homestand and will entertain the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.

The Grizzlies are currently the fifth seed in the West but have their eyes on homecourt advantage and the No. 4 spot. Memphis is just a game behind the Los Angeles Clippers with two to play The Clips hold the tiebreaker over the Grizz, however, meaning Memphis will have to win out and hope for consecutive losses by LA to steal the fourth slot.

The Grizzlies won the opener of their homestand and fourth straight overall on Saturday when Rudy Gay put home 21 points and pulled down six rebounds as Memphis topped the Portland Trail Blazers, 93-89.

O.J. Mayo added 14 points, Marreese Speights had 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Marc Gasol and Dante Cunningham scored 12 points apiece for the Grizzlies.

"We're just worried about what we can do. ... Whatever happens on the outside happens. We can only control what we can control," Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said.

The Cavs are playing out the string and have lost four of five overall, the latest of which came at Western Conference leader San Antonio on Sunday, a 114-98 setback.

Antawn Jamison netted 21 points for the Cavaliers while Kyrie Irving added 19 points.

"You're playing against a team that has aspirations of winning the championship and is one of the best teams in the league. We competed for 40 minutes and that's all you can ask," Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott said.

Cleveland officially shut down big man Anderson Varejao for the remainder of the season last Friday due to his fractured right wrist. The team announced that Varejao's healing has progressed well, but his full recovery isn't complete and he's experiencing soreness in the wrist. He was originally injured in a Feb. 10 game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Cavs have lost two straight on Beale Street but have won nine of 11 overall in the series.

 

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