After a heart breaking loss Sunday night to the Philadelphia 76ers the Phoenix Suns(7-8) bounced back against a struggling Cleveland Cavaliers(3-12) team that has lost it’s last 4 games. Cleveland was without their star point guard Kyrie Irving tonight as he sat our with a bruised finger and Anderson Varejao who was spectacular scored 20 points and pulled down 18 rebounds but it was all in vain.
The Suns began the game quickly and scored the first 7 points of the game which caused Cavaliers coach Byron Scott to take a quick timeout. Phoenix did a tremendous job defensively on the Cavaliers all night long, it began in the 1st quarter when they held the Cavaliers to 4 of 18 shooting to begin the game and that’s pretty much how the night went for the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers shot only 35% for the game against the Suns and the only player for Cleveland who shot above 50% on the game was Anderson Varejao. In fact the Cavs shot so poorly on Tuesday night, if you take away Varejao’s 10 of 15 from the field, the Cavaliers as a team shot only 29% from the field.
“I’ll make just a real quick statement — Andy Varejao was fantastic,” Byron Scott said. “Everybody else stunk tonight. Anything else you need to know?”
“To me right now he’s the best center in the NBA,” Scott said. “By far the best in the Eastern Conference. Coaches and players are starting to recognize how well he’s playing.”
However despite the final score, and Byron Scott’s major displeasure, the game wasn’t as one sided as one might think. Cleveland actually led the Suns 59-57 after a Dion Waiters lay-up with 3:28 left in the ball game however the Suns closed out the 3rd quarter on a 14-0 run.
Cleveland may have stunk up Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday night but you’ve got to give a lot of credits to this Suns team. Phoenix did a great job defensively all night long, in fact the Suns didn’t allow Cleveland a single basket inside the painted area until the 7:18 mark in the 2nd quarter.
The Sun were led to the win by the great play of Goran Dragic who scored a team high 19 points and dished out 7 assists; Dragic also hit 2 back to back 3-pointers from the corner to push the lead to 19 with less than 5 minutes left to go in regulation. Michael Beasley had another fine offensive game, notching 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting and also pulling down 4 rebounds.
As unprofessional as the Cleveland announcers were, as they were ripping on Marcin Gortat extensively throughout the game, I can’t disagree with them. I mean if you compared the two centers, Varejao and Gortat. Varejao recorded 20 points, 18 rebounds and 3 assists on the evening, Gortat on the other hand had a mere 6 points and 3 rebounds on the game; I said in the preview that I felt Gortat was a better player than Varejao now I’m beginning to have my doubts…..
Jared Dudley quietly played a nice game for the Suns as he scored over double digits for the 1st time in the last 5 games. Dudley scored 11 points, making all 5 of his shot attempts to begin the game; Dudley finished 5 of 7 and pulled in 4 rebounds.
The Suns won’t have a lot of time to feel good about this win as they are on their way to Detroit to face off against the Pistons tomorrow night at the Palace of Auburn Hills, which is the Suns 3rd game in 4 nights.