Devin Booker Sets Personal Record in Loss to Cavs


Athletes are creatures of habit, and it seems this season that when playing the Cleveland Cavaliers the Phoenix Suns habitually dig themselves a 22 point hole – though this time with the hope that a second half comeback could be had.

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Unfortunately last night in Cleveland the Suns were unable to amend their fate and after a slow first half similar to the two team’s previous meeting could not dig themselves out.

Scoring only 41 points at half, the Suns did burst out in the third quarter dropping 35. It was their inability to stop LeBron and company (minus the injured Kevin Love) who scored 30 points themselves, which the Suns had been able to do 11 days ago, that kept them from making this a competitive game in the end.

The 4th quarter was more of the same as LeBron not only sealed the Suns’ fate, but made a late rush for a triple-double, scoring 10, dishing out 5 assists and grabbing 3 rebounds. Certainly recalling the Suns making the 22-point comeback in the second half already once this season, LeBron and Kyrie Irving controlled the second half preventing a repeat.

By the final buzzer, while the Suns played a very competitive second half, it was not enough to overcome their lopsided first half and the large hole they dug themselves. Even without Kevin Love who sat out last nights game with lower back issues, the Cavaliers were overwhelmingly the better team on the court.

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As mentioned LeBron James flirted with a triple-double and stayed in the game late while the other starters sat to give himself the opportunity of grabbing a 10th rebound, completing the feat. Fortunately for Suns fans that did not occur and he pulled himself out with about 2 minutes remaining, finishing with 21 points, 15 assists, and 9 rebounds.

Because of LeBron’s statistical shortfall, the Suns remain in 2nd place in the league in triple-double’s given up with 3, tied with the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, and Sacramento Kings. The Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Hornets are tied for the league-lead having given up 4 apiece.

It was truly unfortunate that the Suns were unable to overtake the Cavaliers because they had a very balanced night offensively including a spectacular game from Tyson Chandler as he, Devin Booker, and Eric Bledsoe each scored over 20 while TJ Warren scored 18.

Chandler finished with 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. The normally 7+ point scorer exploded for only his 3rd 20 and 10 game as a Sun, his two prior taking place last season with days of each other, dropping 21 and 18 vs Utah on 4/3/16, and then 21 and 10 at Houston on 4/7/16.

Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker each flirted with a triple-double themselves, having the kind of outstanding statistical games that are fortunately becoming common place for the backcourt duo. Bledsoe too scored 22, but also dished out 9 assists and grabbed 6 rebounds. His 4 steals was one off a season high, and it should be noted that following the first two possessions, Bled was only responsible for 2 additional turnovers.

Booker scored 21 (13 coming from the free throw line – a career-high) and recorded 8 assists and

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  • 7 rebounds. He did not make a three-pointer, however, for the 5th time this season, but only the first time in three weeks.

    As mentioned, T.J. Warren scored 18 on 8-12 shooting, 16 of which came in the second half. He also reached double-digits for the third consecutive game.

    Brandon Knight returned from missing two games with a wrist injury, scoring 3 points in 4 minutes also recording 4 fouls. He did not make an appearance in the second half.

    Kylie Irving led all scorers with 26, but it was the roll players that truly dominated the game, including that of two former Suns.

    Playing heightened roles because of the injury to Kevin Love, James Jones and Channing Frye stepped up for the Cavs and drained a combined 8 three-pointers. Together they finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists.