Despite a great effort in the fourth quarter, the Suns dug themselves in a massive hole in the middle two quarters and lost to the Cavs 89-79.
The Suns came out hot early and were getting a ton of space wherever they attacked, but it turns out the Cavs got what they wanted on the other end as well. Eric Bledsoe was having his way in ball screen scenarios and Brandon Knight got started early from deep. The theme of this fast start for the Suns though would be allowing the Cavs to not only stick around with them, but also still lead the game.
After that hot start the game was pretty much over. The Suns started a horrible shooting run that turned into a 2 for their last 17 rut. Meanwhile, the Cavs continued to make everything despite never really having to try too hard to get it. There was such a clear gap between the two teams during this second quarter.
The Cavs would go on to score 28 points in the paint in the FIRST HALF. Kyrie Irving only played 7 minutes, LeBron James only had 3 points, and the Cavs were still coasting by 16 at the half.
The Suns were screwing up so many simple things and just didn't seem motivated at all to get back into the game after that awful second quarter. Both teams were on a back-to-back and the Cavs weren't really getting that much of a lift from the home crowd. They just looked like the professionals ready to get the job done. An alarming stat to show that lack of energy was the Suns scoring zero fast break points.
You have to wonder what's going through the head of the players when things happen like Tristan Thompson getting a rebound on four straight possessions, LeBron sleepwalking through portions of the games by just passing on the perimeter, and the Cavs starting to get flashy probably because they were bored.
However, that motivation wouldn't stand through the entire game and there was a run to be made in the fourth quarter. The Suns decided to perk up when they got down 30 and cut that deficit in half and then some. The combination of Gerald Green and T.J. Warren's new energy into the game was too much for the Cavs, particularly Warren's surprising two-way play.
A 24-4 run would cut the lead down to 11 with 2:55 left in the game. However, it's hard to come back when you are down 30 in the third quarter and this hold up in the final three minutes.
I really don't know what to make of such a resilient comeback after some really bad basketball for the second straight game. Hopefully this doesn't start becoming a thing and the Suns can redirect these desperation runs to earlier in the game.