NBA Betting Odds and Free Picks: Memphis Grizzlies at Cleveland Cavaliers
Friday, March 08, 2013
by Tomas Lopez
Riding the momentum of one of their hottest stretches of the season, the Memphis Grizzlies will be seeking to end a drought of nearly 10 years in Cleveland when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. The surging Grizzlies have won 10 of their last 11 games, with the only loss coming at the red-hot Miami Heat last Friday. Off to the best start in franchise history, Memphis has won the last three meetings with the Cavaliers, but they have dropped seven straight in Cleveland dating to Nov. 29, 2003.
The Cavaliers will be playing the finale of a five-game homestand. They bounced back from blowing a 22-point lead to New York on Monday by closing the game on a 12-1 run to overcome Utah 104-101 on Wednesday night. Kyrie Irving, in his second game back after missing the previous three due to a hyperextended knee, sparked the comeback by scoring 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. It marked the 14th time Irving has scored at least 10 points in the final quarter this season - fourth in the league.
Memphis Grizzlies (40-19): With double-double machine Zach Randolph and his backup, Darrell Arthur, sidelined by injuries, center Marc Gasol did the heavy lifting inside with 23 points and 12 rebounds vs. Portland. Gasol has 14 double-doubles on the season, with four of them coming in the last six games - a span in which he has averaged 18.8 points. He registered a career-high 11 assists in Sunday's win over Orlando and is averaging career-best totals in free-throw percentage (86.5) and assists (3.9).
Cleveland Cavaliers (21-40): Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington should be extra motivated to face the Grizzlies, who traded them along with Josh Selby to Cleveland in a salary dump in late January. Speights has been an invaluable contributor for the Cavaliers, scoring in double figures in 14 of 18 games and averaging 10.2 points with the Cavaliers - four more than he did with Memphis. Ellington has also boosted his average by more than four points with Cleveland and is coming off a 16-point outing.
1. Cavaliers rookie G Dion Waiters (flu) has sat out the past two games.
2. Randolph (ankle), who is second in the league with 35 double-doubles, is listed as a game-time decision.
3. Cleveland registered a season-high 12 blocked shots Wednesday, its highest total since November 2007.
NBA Basketball Prediction: Grizzlies 92, Cavaliers 89.
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