MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- If Cleveland's reserves perform as they did in Wednesday's 106-76 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, perhaps the Cavaliers can survive the opening few months of the season without point guard Kyrie Irving and with an ailing LeBron James.
With Irving out until January with a fractured left knee cap and James nursing a bad back, the Cavaliers relied on their bench. The reserves responded with 50 points and 21 rebounds to keep the slow-starting Grizzlies from seriously threatening shortly after the opening tip.
Starting forward Kevin Love had 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead Cleveland, but Richard Jefferson paced the reserves with 14 points. The bench also got 12 points each from Tristan Thompson and Jared Cunningham.
"We have a lot of depth," James said. "Coach (David Blatt) is going to have some problems on his hands finding playing time for everyone when all of our guys come back. But that's one of those good problems."
The offseason additions of point guard Mo Williams, subbing for Irving, and Jefferson, will bolster the Cavs, who dropped a two-point decision in their opener Tuesday at Chicago.
"I think (50 bench points) might be a record for us, at least in my time here," Blatt said. "They were terrific."
The Cavaliers built an early lead by taking advantage of poor Memphis shooting and were never threatened. Cleveland led by 16 points at the end of the first quarter, by 21 at halftime and by 24 after three quarters.
The Grizzlies, coming off three straight 50-win seasons, had difficulty finding a rhythm in their season opener. They shot 19 percent from the field in the first quarter and their perimeter shooting, a perennial shortcoming, was inefficient again.
Memphis finished 2 of 16 from beyond the arc. Cleveland was 13 of 29 from 3-point range, with Jefferson going 3 of 3.
"I thought our inability to score the basketball carried over to our defense and that cannot happen," said Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger. "You're going to have lulls throughout games offensively, but we lost our composure and it carried over to our defense.
"(We) started to huck the ball all over the court and shot 3s. We were kind of chasing our tail at that point."
James was one of the few Cavaliers who had an off night. James made just 4 of 13 shots from the floor and finished with 12 points. He was in jeopardy of having his 642 consecutive-game streak scoring in double figures -- the third longest in NBA history behind Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- snapped, but he dropped in a free throw with 7:43 left to extend it.
Memphis struggled with its shooting from the opening tip. The Grizzlies were just 4 of 21 in the first quarter and the starters went 3 of 16. The Cavaliers outrebounded the Grizzlies 15-10 in the first 12 minutes.
Trailing by 16 (26-10) to open the second quarter, the Grizzlies' woes continued. They were 1 of 12 to open the quarter and fell behind by 27 (41-14).
Although the Grizzlies trimmed the huge Cavs advantage to 21 on several occasions in the second quarter, they could get no closer than 18 the remainder of the game. Memphis was so out of sync that guard Tony Allen missed an uncontested fast-break layup by losing control of the basketball as he neared the paint in the closing minute.
Memphis shot 35.4 percent (29 of 82).
"We were very hesitant offensively," Gasol said. "We missed a lot of shots and then that affected our defense. We were giving up layups in the paint. We were giving up 3s.
"Offensively, we were trying to be super heroes, playing without passing and making our own decisions and not really executing. It was a really bad game all around."
At the half, Cleveland led 53-32 and was 21 of 43 from the field. Memphis was 12 of 44 (27.3 percent), including 1 of 8 from 3-point range.
NOTES: The Grizzlies opened the season with seven players on their roster 30 years old or older. Only the San Antonio Spurs, with eight, had more on their opening-day roster. ... Cleveland C/F Tristan Thompson played in his 290th consecutive game Wednesday night. Los Angeles Clippers C DeAndre Jordan (323) is the only player with a longer active streak. ... The Grizzlies limited the opposition to 95.1 points per game last season, the second-best average in the NBA. Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Grizzlies are 47-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 90 points. ... Cavaliers assistant coach James Posey was a crowd favorite when he played for the Grizzlies from 2003-05. Posey averaged 11.6 points during those two seasons and was a member of the 2003-04 team that was the franchise's first to qualify for the playoffs.