The Cleveland Cavaliers completed a stretch of four games in five days with their matchup against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. It was a game of runs, that started with the Suns taking advantage of a slow start for the Cavaliers to take a 9-0 lead. Cleveland was able to get back in the game, but both teams were sloppy throughout the first half.
Cleveland seemed to have figured things out to start the second half, as they used a run of their own to pull the game level, before eventually taking a lead. The problem was, the Cavaliers were never able to pull away from Phoenix, and allowing them to hang around came back to hurt the home team.
The Suns began to put a run together, as they were looking to take advantage, and that was when the final run of the game began. This was not a push by either team, but Cleveland finally submitting to the fatigue of the past few days and running out of gas. In the end, it was a 91-78 win for Phoenix, as the Cavaliers dropped their fourth straight.
The Cavaliers were carried by much of the game by their emotional leader Anderson Varejao. The "Wild Thing" scored 20 points and had 18 rebounds, and, at one point in the third quarter, generated a run on his own that caused the Suns' coaching staff to call a timeout. This was the sixth straight game with at least 15 rebounds for Andy, as he became the first Cavalier to do that since 1978.
Dion Waiters, who handled the ball for much of the game, scored 16 points, but did so taking 20 shots. The rookie was grabbing his left hand and went to the locker room before half time, yet came out to play in the third quarter. His jumper never really got going, but he was able to set a career-high in assists, leading the team with 7.
Alonzo Gee finished the game with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists. Jeremy Pargo had eight points, five assists, and four rebounds, starting in place of the injured Kyrie Irving. While he has played well in Irving's absence, Pargo had issues tonight, shooting 3-for-12.
The Suns were paced by their point guard Goran Dragic, who scored 19 points, had seven assists, and five rebounds. Michael Beasley scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Luis Scola scored 14 point and had four rebounds off the bench. Jared Dudley also gave Phoenix solid bench production, scoring 11 points.
The Suns defense forced Cleveland into 19 turnovers, and pushed the ball to score in transition. The Cavaliers tried to push the pace at times, but that sometimes resulted in sloppy play.
Cleveland now has two days off before they play again on Friday against the Atlanta Hawks. They will use this time to get their legs back, and try and clean up these mistakes that have hurt them the last four games.
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