Suns Crumble After Solid First Half, Lose to Cavs 115-93
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.
The Phoenix Suns were plagued by turnovers tonight in a loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 115-93. Phoenix looked great in the first half, keeping the game within five points, but were derailed by nine third quarter turnovers that really turned the tides of the game.
The Suns got off to a rare, hot first quarter start. P.J. Tucker led the early charge going 3/3 from behind the three point line, scoring nine points in the opening quarter. Tucker showed that his long-range expertise isn’t only contained to the corners, as he hit from downtown from both wings tonight. The lead changed hands 13 times in the quarter, and the Suns ended up with a three point lead heading into the second quarter.
The beaten-up Suns put forth another good effort in the second quarter. The highlight of the quarter came from Sonny Weems, who received a pass while cutting to the hoop and cocked back for a righteous one handed dunk. The game continued to go back and forth, with the lead changing numerous more times throughout the quarter. The young Suns were doing a great job hanging around with a veteran Cavalier team, and only trailed by five points at the half, 55-50.
Then, the third quarter happened. The Cavs busted out right out of the gate, going on a 12-0 run before Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek called his second timeout in less than three minutes to attempt to stop the bleeding. This 12 point stretch included to a spectacular alley-oop from J.R. Smith to James, which nearly brought the house down. The aforementioned nine third quarter turnovers really did a number on the Suns, who were outscored by 11 in the quarter. The Cavs had the chance to pull their starters a few minutes into the fourth quarter, and the bench unit was able to hold off the Suns for the remainder of the game.
The Suns didn’t have a true standout player tonight, but were led by Devin Booker who scored 16 points and had five assists. Everyone pitched in getting buckets tonight, with Tucker, Weems, Archie Goodwin, Markieff Morris, and T.J. Warren all hitting double figures. The Cavs were led by Kevin Love and James. Love managed a double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. James put in 21 points, grabbed three rebounds, and dished out an impressive nine assists.
23 turnovers. 🙁
The Suns head to New York to face off against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Friday, January 29th. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 MST.