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Donovan Mitchell ejected following brawl in Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Here's what happened

Both Mitchell and Memphis' Dillon Brooks were tossed after Brooks struck Mitchell in his groin area, sparking the altercation.

CLEVELAND — Darius Garland scored 32 points shortly after being left off the All-Star team and carried Cleveland following Donovan Mitchell's ejection, leading the Cavaliers to a 128-113 victory over the slumping Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night.

Garland was one of several players having All-Star-caliber seasons not named an Eastern Conference reserve by the coaches. He added 11 assists as the Cavs bounced back from a tough loss to Miami on Tuesday night.

Mitchell, voted an All-Star starter last week, was tossed in the third quarter for throwing the ball at Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks after the pair tangled under the basket. Brooks also was thrown out.

With the Cavs leading 81-76, Brooks missed a shot and fell in the lane. While on the floor, he flung his arm back and struck Mitchell, who was standing over him, in the groin area. Mitchell dropped in pain and retaliated by firing the ball at Brooks and then charging and shoving him along the baseline in front of the Memphis bench.

As the altercation threatened to spill into the seats, officials and players were able to get things under control before any punches were thrown.

Mitchell, who was having a tough night with just six points on 2-of-11 shooting, received a loud ovation from the sellout Cleveland crowd as he made his way to the locker room following his dismissal.

The Mitchell-Brooks tussle seemed to motivate the young Cavs. They built a 12-point lead after three quarters, pushed it to 21 in the fourth and handed Memphis its seventh loss in eight games.

The Grizzlies, who have a reputation as the NBA's most talkative team, lost their sixth straight road game.

Cedi Osman scored 21 points and Jarrett Allen added 18 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland. Evan Mobley had 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Desmond Bane scored 25 points and All-Star Ja Morant had 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Grizzlies despite being in foul trouble most of the night.

Memphis played without All-Star forward Jaren Jackson Jr., who sustained a thigh bruise in Tuesday night in a loss to Portland. Jackson averages 16.5 points and 6.7 rebounds.

There were 10 lead changes in the first six minutes of the second quarter before the Cavs began to take control.

Cleveland went on a 13-2 spurt — and Morant went to the bench after picking up his third foul —- and the Cavs outscored the Grizzlies 22-7 over the final 5:25 to take a 67-54 halftime lead.


Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff has a healthy rooting interest in the Super Bowl. He's a devoted Eagles fan.

Because he bounced around as a kid due to his dad, Bernie, being an NBA coach, Bickerstaff didn't have a favorite team. He found a favorite player.

"I loved Randall Cunningham," he said, mentioning Philadelphia's elusive quarterback and the reason why he pulls for the Eagles.

Bickerstaff no longer has a Cunningham jersey.

"That was a long time ago," he said with a laugh. "I've been many different sizes since then."


Grizzlies: Jackson Jr. is on pace to become the first player to average at least 16 points and three blocks since Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning did it in 1999-2000. ... C Steven Adams (right knee sprain) was unavailable for the sixth consecutive game. ... G Danny Green sat out after making his Memphis debut on Wednesday. He had been sidelines all season while rehabbing a torn left ACL.

Cavaliers: G Ricky Rubio scored 11 in the fourth. ... Caris LeVert was out with right hamstring soreness. ... Mobley came in as the league leader with 3.8 contested 3-pointers per game. The second-year forward also is sixth in total contested shots at 11.0.


Grizzlies: Host Toronto on Sunday.

Cavaliers: At Indiana on Sunday.


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