The Suns looked like they were in for an easy night against a tired team when they jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead and at one point built an 11-point margin. But the Cavs battled back on the strength of their offensive rebounding and forced turnovers and turned the tide with a 17-6 run that started in the final three minutes of the first half and stretched into the third quarter to take their first lead of the game.
Folks, it was ugly out there as the two teams combined to go 27-77 with 22 turnovers in the first half. Two bad defensive teams created some kind of negative polar attraction that resulted in the metallic rim repealing the leather ball.
Those forces realigned a bit in the second half as the defensive deficiencies started to show themselves more which allowed Anderson Varejao to get loose for 14 points on 7-of-8 mostly wide open shots. The Suns, however, adjusted their pick and roll rotations to cover the one Cav with a hot hand and managed to open up a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
It was mostly transition offense (10 fast break points) and a mix of shots from a variety of Phoenix players that put 34 on the board in the third.
The Suns put the game away in the fourth thanks to something we've not seen since Shaq was in town, a legit low post game. It was simple old school basketball with the ball going into the post to either the rejuvenated Jermaine O'Neal or the crafty Luis Scola. On two consecutive possessions the Cavs doubled the post only to have the Suns swing-swing-swing the ball to an open Dragic who nailed two corner threes in a row to put the game to bed.
- Strong effort from Michael Beasley. It was only 15 points but he played well and was an efficient 6-8 shooting. Hard to say if his finger is feeling better, if he's mentally more engaged or relaxed or whatever, or if he's just coming back to his historic scoring norms. Then again, it's only two games so let's not build him a statue just yet.
- The Cavs ran out of gas...and talent once the Suns ended the madness that was leaving Varejao wide open. Andy finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds to build his case for an All-Star spot. Rookie Dion Waiters had 16 points but took 20 shots to get there.
- Dragic finished with team-high 19 points and had those nice threes in the fourth but his ability to push the ball quickly in transition in the third quarter was a big key to the win.
- It wasn't one for the highlight reel, but the Suns took care of bidness and walk away avoiding an embarrassing loss.
Suns are now an exciting 7-8 with a chance to reach .500 (!) with a win over Detroit tomorrow night.