Ja Morant poured in a game-high 37 points, including two huge hoops after Cleveland closed the gap late, as the host Memphis Grizzlies spoiled the NBA debut of Evan Mobley with a 132-121 victory over the Cavaliers in both teams' opener Wednesday night.
Desmond Bane and De'Anthony Melton had 22 and 20 points, respectively, while Steven Adams snatched a game-high 14 rebounds in his Grizzlies debut.
Mobley, the No. 3 pick in the July draft, had 17 points, a team-high-tying nine rebounds and six assists for the Cavaliers, who lost despite shooting 50.5 percent from the field.
Memphis led by as many as 16 points but saw Cleveland climb within 117-116 with 2:33 to play after consecutive 3-pointers by Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton.
Morant countered with two floating jumpers sandwiching a Mobley hoop, and when Melton turned a Morant assist into a basket with 1:18 to go, the Grizzlies had breathing room at 123-118 with 1:18 remaining.
Morant's 37 points came with the benefit of just two free throws and one 3-pointer in four attempts. He shot 17-for-29 in accumulating, though he finished short of his own Grizzlies record for points on Opening Night, 44, a mark he set against the San Antonio Spurs last December.
Melton did a majority of his scoring from beyond the 3-point arc, making four of his six long-distance attempts. Both teams made 14 treys in the game.
Jaren Jackson Jr. added 13 points while Kyle Anderson had 10 off the bench for Memphis, which shot 53 percent from the field and outrebounded Cleveland 53-36.
Mobley shot 7-for-13 and connected on 1 of 2 from 3-point range in the loss.
All five Cavaliers starters scored in double figures, led by Jarrett Allen with 25 on an 11-for-11 night. Sexton matched Mobley with 17 points, while Darius Garland chipped in with 13 and Markkanen had 10.
Garland completed a double-double with a game-high 12 assists. The Cavaliers were credited with 38 assists on their 47 hoops in the game.
Cedi Osman, with 15 points, and Ricky Rubio, who had 12 points and 10 assists, reached double figures in points off the Cleveland bench.
--Field Level Media