The Phoenix Suns beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 107-100, in LeBron James’s return from a seven-game absence. The Cavaliers have now lost six consecutive games and drop to 19-20 on the season, while the Suns improve to 23-18.
The Phoenix Suns beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 107-100, at home despite LeBron James’s return to the court. Markieff Morris had a career high for the Suns with 35 points on 15 of 21 from the field, including seven rebounds.
Alex Len notched a double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists. Goran Dragic put in 18 points on 8 of 15 from the field, including four assists. Every starter for the Suns scored in double figures. The Suns shot a terrific 52.6 percent from the field. They were up by as many as 19 points in the second half, but the Cavaliers made a big run to get back in the game and take a two-point lead at one point, but Phoenix pulled away with it at the end.
For the Cavs, in his return, LeBron James had a big game with 33 points on 11 of 18 from the field and added seven rebounds and five assists. LeBron played like his old self when he was with the Miami Heat and was scoring a lot of points, as he was penetrating to the rim tonight. LeBron had five turnovers in this game, though, including a costly one down the stretch in the fourth quarter. J.R. Smith posted a huge night with 29 points on 10 of 19 from the field and was 8 of 14 from three. Smith got hot from three this game and made five straight at one point in the third quarter.
J.R. Smith and LeBron James combined to score 62 of the Cavs’ 100 points tonight but were not able to win this game. Kyrie Irving had an off night with just nine points on 4 of 14 from the field to go with six assists and eight turnovers in 44 minutes. Kevin love only had nine points on 3 of 11 from the field tonight with nine rebounds in 27 minutes. Love sat the entire fourth quarter. The Cavaliers defense was just not there early in the game, which got them off to a slow start, and they were unable to climb all the way back to win. The Cavaliers allowed 107 points on 52.6 percent shooting from the field, and it’s certainly tough to win games with that kind of defensive efficiency.