Phoenix Suns Face Re-Loaded Cavaliers

Jan 8, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) controls the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Cavaliers won 120-116. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns (12-27) v Cleveland Cavaliers (29-11)

Thursday 1/19/2017 5:00pm
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Fox Sports Arizona/Arizona Sports 98.7FM

Season Series – Cavaliers lead 1-0
All-Time Series – Phoenix Leads 64-44
Last Matchup – Cleveland won 120-116
Suns’ Last Game – Loss to Utah Jazz 106-101
Cavaliers’ Last Game – Loss to Golden State 126-91
Suns’ Scoring Averages – PTS/G: 105.9 (11th of 30) Opp PTS/G: 111.7 (29th of 30)
Cavaliers’ Scoring Averages – PTS/G: 109.0 (5th of 30) Opp PTS/G: 104.1 (12th of 30)

Preview

The Suns and Heat each other for the second time this month, fulfilling their home and home inter-conference responsibilities. The last time out the Suns found themselves down by 22 points in the first half and by as many as 20 in the 3rd quarter. It was in the third quarter when they made what would have been the comeback for the ages had they won the game, tying it several times late with the opportunity to take the lead though never able to finish the job. Their harrowing performance ended in a 120-116 defeat, though the memory of the loss will last for sometime. To read the Official Valley of the Suns recap and opinions, read here.

Since their meeting on January 8, the Suns are 1-2, while the Cavs are 1-3. Cleveland lost to Utah and Portland, defeated Sacramento, and was walloped by Golden State 126-91.

Kevin Love is expected to play tonight although he left the game against the Warriors early due to back spasms. Kyle Korver, who the Cavaliers traded for the day before their last game against Phoenix, is in uniform and has played in the team’s previous four games. In the Cavs’ victory over Sacramento, Korver scored 18 points and shot 4-6 from three.

For the Suns, Tyson Chandler is chasing franchise rebounding history in more ways than one. Not only is he on pace to grab the most rebounds in a season since the late Neal Walk in 1972-73, and the most offensive rebounds since Curtis Perry in 1974-75, but according to NBA.com/Stats, he is also one 15+ rebound game away from tying Jim Fox’s franchise record of 6 consecutive games.

5 Important Team Stats

Phoenix Suns

1. Phoenix still remains near the league leaders with 8.5 steals per game, 6th in the league.
2. The Suns are 2nd in the NBA in fastbreak points with 18.6, behind only Golden State.
3. They are 5th with 46.2 points in the paint.
4. Phoenix leads the league in shots taken off of a pick and roll where the shot was taken by the ball handler at 24.2%.
5. So while they are last in the league in Assists, they are 7th overall in Screen assists with 11.7 per game.

Cleveland Cavaliers

1. Since the start of the second half against the Suns on Jan. 8, Cleveland is shooting 39.9% from the field, 6% below their season average.
2. Cleveland only blocks an average of 4 shots a game, though they average 5 of their own shots blocked by their opponent.
3. Cleveland is second in the league in isolation plays with 11.9% per game.
4. Tied into their isolationist ways, an astonishing 15.4% of their shot attempts are preceded by a minimum of 7 dribbles by the shooter – most in the league.
5. The Cavs are a lethal three-point shooting team, draining 38.2%, 4th best in the league.

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