I documented the game as it unfolded, because more of you read my recaps than watch the game itself.
The Suns once again emabarrassed themselves out of the gate, getting down 20 by the end of one quarter.
A buddy of mine sold his lower-level season tickets for $700 to a LeBron fan, then bought back in for $32 upper level seats because he’s a fan no matter what. Best move of the night.
The only second half intrigue involved waiting for one of LeBron’s potential assists to actually become his 10th real assist of the night, giving him a triple double. The Cavs missed approximately 62 straight shots on nice LeBron passes before finally scoring on a breakaway, hard-to-miss layup.
The other chuckle was how Jared Dudley successfully stopped LeBron on defense. Read the whole recap to find out how. Don’t spoil it, commenters!
LeBron James got a triple double, Kyle Korver made 5-6 threes, and Jordan Clarkson was a good poacher off the bench.
For the Suns, in a “someone has to score” game, got 17+ from Devin Booker, Josh Jackson and T.J. Warren. Jared Dudley had 9 rebounds off the bench.
Suns go small, with Bender at center, T.J. Warren at power forward, Josh Jackson at small forward (hi, LeBron!), Devin Booker and Elfrid Payton.
Cavs bench J.R. Smith for Kyle Korver, and go small themselves with Larry Nance Jr. at center (hellooooo, Dragan), with Jeff Green at power forward and point guard George Hill around some guy named LeBron James.
Small on small.
Let’s see how that works out for the Suns, shall we?
Cavs don’t have Rodney Hood (phew), Kevin Love or Tristan Thompson
Suns don’t have Tyson Chandler (old) or any of the usual “out” guys
The Suns began the same with Bender and Jackson coming up short on midrange shots before a broken play was saved by Devin Booker drawing a shooting foul. Booker was being double-teamed each time, and his teammates missed their first four shot attempts.
Cleveland quickly got out to a 13-2 lead, less than 3 minutes into the game.
When the Suns surprised everyone, including themselves, with a 4-0 run highlighted by a couple of missed Cavs layups, the Cavs coach had to call timeout to blast his team for letting the Suns inhale.
The Suns just could not get out of their own way. They committed dumb fouls, missed layups, stupidly challenged LeBron on a drive to the basket (uh, Elfrid), and then finally deciding giving up 2-3 points per possession wasn’t enough, so Payton committed a clear path foul to give them 2 points AND the ball.
The Suns got down 23-8 and DEVIN BOOKER HAD YET TO TAKE A SHOT IN THE GAME.
Seven minutes in. NO SHOTS FOR BOOKER. The Suns aren’t even working to get him the ball. And they’re shooting 3/14, so it’s not like non-Booker shooters have any argument on this one.
Need I write more?
Or do we only need the one word recap? Embarrassing.
Okay. I’ll keep going. What else am I going to do while watching this? Gives me a chance to look away from the court.
This might be the worst team in NBA history.
End of one: Suns down 38-18.
Shooting 25.9% on NOT A VERY GOOD DEFENSE. Shooting 1-10 on threes against NOT A GOOD DEFENSE.
Elfrid Payton: 0-5. Josh Jackson 0-4. Shaq Harrison and Troy Daniels: 1-5 combined. The suns committed more fouls (9) than they made field goals (7). Had almost as many turnovers (4) as field goals made (7).
The Suns gave up 15 free throws, and allowed 17 rebounds IN ONE QUARTER.
Even LeBron James is embarrassed for the Suns, I think.
Seriously, do you want to keep reading this recap? I’m surprised you’re still here.
Well since you’re still here, I’ll keep writing. Better than watching the action.
Cavs are baiting the Suns to score now. Playing Jose Calderon and Ante Zizic at same time. Suns not taking the bait.
But hey at least the Suns continue their streak of forcing the opposing team’s coach to call a frustrated timeout when his team allows the Suns to cut a first-half lead below 20.
This time, it’s Tyronn Lue and the lead is “only” 15 early in the second. Then again, at 6:55 in the second when the Suns got it to “only” 12, Lue called another.
Within minutes it was back to 18, and LeBron was trying to intentionally make a BANKED three from the left angle. Almost impossible to make, given the trajectory.
MARQUESE CHRISS MADE A SHOT. It was a layup. But hey, progress.
Suns end the half “only” down 16.
Cavs up 68-52.
Suns shooting 38% for the game, 16% on threes.
Booker + Warren: 56% shooting on 15 shots
Rest of team: 28% shooting on 32 shots
Welp. The way the Suns started the second half looked a lot like how they started the game. Way to motivate, Jay.
Before the Suns knew it, they were down 82-60 after a LeBron steal and thunder-dunk to the loudest cheers of the night.
Soon it was a 26-point Cleveland lead (92-66). The Cavs were 11-23 on threes for the game at that point and that’s only because non-Korvers missed a ton of open ones.
So there was a sequence where LeBron James was trying desperately to get his 10th assist to finish off a tripele double but Jordan Clarkson air-balled a three into the hands of two Suns rebounders. Who were facing the shot. And it bounced off both of them out of bounds. So LeBron then takes a lazy shot, leading to a Booker fast break with Daniels fading to the corner for a three. But Booker telegraphed the pass, got it intercepted, and then this time Clarkson MADE the three and, well, the lead was back to 24.
And then a minute later the funniest part of the game happened.
LeBron had the ball out front, still looking for that 10th assist, and all the action ended up with JARED DUDLEY on him. LeBron backed up (at this point, a helpful fan behind me yelled “oh god, SWITCH!, SWIIITCH!”), rocked JD back and forth a couple times, then apparently lost his cool, chuckled (maybe he heard the fan?), and let JD run up and intentionally foul him. LOLOL. I gotta ask Jared about that after the game.
This is our second half, Suns fans.
The game stayed at roughly 20 points for the last hour of the night.
So little to see here.