The Cleveland Cavaliers hang on to beat the Phoenix Suns on the road 101-97. Cavs improve to 20-9 and Suns fall to 12-21 on the season. Kyrie Irving led the way for the Cavaliers with a season high 22 points on 7 of 16 from the field, dished out two assists, and shot a perfect 6 of 6 from the foul line in 24 minutes. Irving looked like he was in rhythm this game. Irving will sit out next game against the Nuggets, according to Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Irving will rest on a back to back game for the Cavaliers.
J.R. Smith put in 17 points on 5 of 11 from the field, grabbed three rebounds, and hit five three-pointers. Kevin Love dropped in 16 points on 6 of 11 from the field including seven rebounds, four assists, and nailed three from deep in 25 minutes. LeBron James was quiet this game with 14 points on 4 of 10 from the field, plucked four rebounds, gave out seven assists, and stripped away two steals in 35 minutes. Matthew Dellavedova contributed eight points on 2 of 4 from the field, and handed out five assists off the bench. Richard Jefferson added seven points on 2 of 4 from the field, and blocked four shots off the pine in 19 minutes.
Timofey Mozgov came off the bench for the first time this season and he put up four points on 2 of 5 from the field, pulled down four rebounds, and blocked three shots in 16 minutes. Tristan Thompson replaced Mozgov in the starting lineup for this game. Cavaliers shot a respectable 46.5 percent from the field, and shot 41.5 percent on 17 of 41 from three-point range. Cavaliers were on fire to start the game and they shot an incredible 62 percent from the field in the first half. Cavaliers scored 60 points in the first half but they only scored 41 points in the second half.
The Cavaliers really looked like they were in rhythm this game and shot the ball much better. Cavaliers did play a little sloppy tonight with 17 turnovers. 41 of the Cavaliers 71 shot attempts were three point shots. Cavaliers relied on the three ball much more in this game, and it did workout for the Cavaliers. Cavs were still able to come away with a win in this game despite LeBron not scoring much.
Cavaliers did step up their defense and the Suns only scored 39 points in the second half. With 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Kyrie Irving made a big three just before the shot clock expired to give the Cavs a four point lead. Cavaliers will play again tonight on the road against the Denver Nuggets.
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt said “J.R. Smith made an incredible winning play to save that ball. That ball was going out of bounds and it looked like it would be their possession. He made a fabulous save. Kyrie made a huge shot.”
For the Suns, T.J. Warren had a game high 23 points on 9 of 15 field to go along with five rebounds, and made four three-pointers off the bench in 27 minutes. Brandon Knight finished with 18 points on 7 of 18 from the field, and dished out four assists. Jon Leuer posted 14 points on 4 of 8 from the field, accumulated six rebounds, and gave out four assists in 25 minutes. Rookie Devin Booker logged 10 points on 5 of 6 from the field, nabbed three rebounds, and handed out three assists. P.J. Tucker recorded 14 points on 6 of 11 from the field, collected six rebounds, and stripped away three steals.
Tyson Chandler racked up six points on 1 of 3 from the field, picked up eight rebounds, and shot 4 of 8 from the free-throw line off the bench. Suns shot 45.6 percent from the field, and shot 44 percent on 11 of 25 from three-point distance. Suns out-scored the Cavs in the paint 4o to 26 but the Cavs made six more three pointers, and made four more free throws. Suns had a chance to win this game but they ended up losing by four points. Meanwhile, Eric Bledsoe was out for the Suns in this game with a knee injury. Suns will travel to San Antonio to face off the San Antonio Spurs next game on Wednesday.