The Cleveland Cavaliers attempt to stretch the NBA’s longest active winning streak to 11 games when they host the sinking Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. Cleveland’s run is the franchise’s best since a 12-gamer during the 2014-15 campaign, while the Grizzlies are looking to halt a 10-game skid - also currently the longest in the league.
The Cavaliers are averaging 112.5 points during their winning streak and are now beginning a stretch during which six of their next eight games are at home. LeBron James is off to a strong start - averages of 28 points, 8.5 assists and 8.1 rebounds - and was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November. The Grizzlies fired coach David Fizdale after the eighth consecutive loss and fell for the second time under interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff with Friday’s 95-79 setback against San Antonio. Memphis’ losing streak is the franchise’s worst since it dropped 12 straight during the 2008-09 campaign.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Memphis), FSN Ohio (Cleveland)
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (7-14): Memphis has lost all eight games since point guard Mike Conley was lost with a left Achilles injury, and he told reporters on Friday that he probably will miss at least three more weeks. “It’s tough,” Conley said. “Anything that has to do with your heel takes longer to heal. I just have to give it time.” Marc Gasol is under the microscope as he was benched for the fourth quarter of Fizdale’s final game, and his rift with the former coach was at least partially to blame for the surprise firing.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (15-7): Cleveland struggled over its first dozen games as it adjusted to the departure of high-scoring guard Kyrie Irving. The chemistry has improved with James leading the way, but veteran guard Dwyane Wade - one of the team’s newcomers - cautions against the notion that the Cavaliers have hit their stride. “I don’t think we’re there yet, but it’s definitely good,” Wade told reporters. “You know, we was 5-7 at one point. Now we’re 15-7. We’re playing good basketball but even the games that we haven’t played great, we found ways to win. We played great in certain moments of the game. So, we’re not there yet from a standpoint of where we’re watching and we’re looking at the streak, but 10 in a row to end this month, it was a good win.”
1. The Grizzlies are 4-16 when visiting Cleveland.
2. Cavaliers G Iman Shumpert (left knee) underwent arthroscopic surgery on Friday and will miss six-to-eight weeks.
3. Memphis PF Brandan Wright (groin) departed Friday’s contest and is doubtful to play against Cleveland.
PREDICTION: Cavaliers 116, Grizzlies 84