NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Cleveland 38 30 34 27 129
Phoenix 18 34 28 27 107
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0022:00 ET8:00 PM CTNaN:� , March 13, 2018
Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona  Attendance: 18,055

Cavaliers look to get well against slumping Suns

According to STATS
According to STATS

Cleveland Cavaliers at Phoenix Suns

  1. The Cavaliers lost to the Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday, 127-113, after losing its previous game to the Clippers at Staples Center on Friday, 116-102. It's the first time since 2010-11 that the Cavaliers lost on the road to both the Lakers and the Clippers in the same season.
  2. The Suns lost to the Hornets in Charlotte on Saturday, 122-115, and have now allowed 100-plus points in each of their last 16 games. The last time Phoenix allowed 100-plus points in 16-straight games was last season from January 8 to February 8 (also 16 games).
  3. Since the 2013-14 season, the Cavaliers are 6-2 (.750) against the Suns, including winning each of the last five games the teams have played. Cleveland's five-game win streak against the Suns is its second-longest active win streak against any opponent (8-straight wins vs. Hornets).
  4. LeBron James has had a double-double in seven of his last nine games (including three triple-doubles). Over these last nine games, James is averaging 28.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, 9.3 assists, and is shooting 52.4 percent from the field.
  5. Tyler Ulis had 11 points and 10 assists off the bench for the Suns in their loss to the Hornets on Saturday. Ulis has two games this season with 10-plus points and 10-plus assists, tied with Devin Booker for the second-most such games on the team (Elfrid Payton -- 3 games).
  6. Ante Zizc had a career-high 15 points off the bench for the Cavaliers in their loss to the Lakers on Sunday. Zizic had not scored more than six points in the previous 19 games of his career.

PHOENIX -- Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue admitted what the numbers shouted Sunday: the Lakers in general -- and power forward Julius Randle in particular-- strong-armed their way through the Cavaliers in a 127-113 victory.

The Cavaliers will look to reverse roles against a Phoenix team that despite putting up a lot of fight at Charlotte on Saturday has not had the results to match when the teams meet Tuesday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Randle had a career-high 36 points and 14 rebounds Sunday while at times going against LeBron James, who had 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. The Lakers had a 51-37 rebounding edge.

"I thought he just out-toughed us," Lue said of Randle. "He bullied us all night and we had no answer for him."

After winning four in a row with victories over Boston and Oklahoma City amid the euphoria of the team remake at the trade deadline, the Cavs (38-28) have lost six of 10, including consecutive games against the L.A. teams in the second and third games of their season-long six-game road trip.

The Suns (19-49) have lost five in a row, 15 of 16 and 20 of 22, with two five-game losing streaks and a 10-game losing streak in that stretch. Their only victories have come at Memphis and home to Dallas. They have said they are not trying to lose to enhance their draft position.

James' only appearance against the Lakers at Staples Center this season engendered the usual speculation about his possible relocation to the cap-savvy Lakers, who will have money to spend on big-time free agents this summer, when James can opt out of the final year of a three-year, $100 million contract and become a free agent

James, 33, was positive in his short assessment of Lakers coach Luke Walton, which could be read as a neutral observation or a sign of interest.

"Since Luke took over, they've improved every single season, I think," James told reporters. "They just try to implement that ball movement, that body movement that he got when he was (an assistant coach) in Golden State."

James is averaging 26.9 points a game and has 39 double-doubles and 13 triple-doubles.

Cleveland is in fourth place in the tightly contested middle of the Eastern Conference playoff pack as the teams scramble for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Cavaliers are one-half game behind third-place Indiana, one-half game ahead of fifth-place Washington and another game head of sixth-place Philadelphia. They have scored at least 110 points in six of their last seven road games while winning five. They have scored at least 110 points in 35 games.

The Suns, meanwhile, are playing for next season for the second season in a row. They played without their top three scorers in a 122-115 loss at Charlotte on Saturday.

Devin Booker, who is ninth in the NBA with a 25.3 scoring average, missed the game with a left triceps strain and TJ Warren (19.7 points per game) was held out because of back spasms. Rookie Josh Jackson (11.5) also missed the game because of a knee injury suffered in a Thursday loss at Oklahoma City.

Booker, Warren and Jackson are considered probable for the Cavs after practicing Monday, when the Suns also signed backup point Shaquille Harrison to a multi-year deal as his second 10-day contract was about to expire. He had 14 points and four assists in 21 minutes at Charlotte.

Even though the Suns dressed only 11 players, including three who have spent most of the season in the G-League, they trimmed a 22-point deficit to two in the final two minutes of the Hornets' game while scoring 43 points in the fourth quarter, a season high for any quarter.

"We had a lot of guys really step up," interim coach Jay Triano told reporters. "I was really pleased with the complete effort."

Updated March 12, 2018

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