Cavaliers pound Suns 111-98
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The 2018-19 NBA season hasn’t gone particularly well for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns. The two teams met on Thursday night with the Suns entering the matchup having the worst record in the NBA. Meanwhile, the Cavs entered the night with the third-worst record in the league.
Not only did the Suns enter Thursday with the league’s worst record, they arrived in Cleveland riding a 15-game losing streak. And with a 111-98 loss to the Cavs in Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday, Phoenix’s losing skid increased to 16 games.
“I thought we made a conscious effort of doing things correctly, particularly going down the stretch, not taking ill-advised shots,” Cavs head coach Larry Drew said.
Five Cavaliers reached double-figures in scoring against Phoenix, led by Cedi Osman’s team-high 19 points, five rebounds and five assists. Kevin Love recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Jordan Clarkson finished with 15 points and five assists.
The Cavs held a slim 77-72 lead entering the fourth quarter, but they controlled the game throughout much of the contest. When Cleveland opened the fourth quarter with a quick 6-0 run, capped by a David Nwaba bucket, the Cavs extended their lead to double-digits, 83-72. When Clarkson sank the second of two free throws with just under six minutes remaining, the Cavs led 100-86, their largest lead to that point. The Suns never recovered from the Cavs’ opening run in the final frame.
“I thought for the most part we really maintained our energy and intensity,” Drew said. “As the game winded down, offensively our execution was good.”
Passing and turnovers were the key for the Cavs against Phoenix. Cleveland dished out 34 assists on 42 made field goals, the first time this season the Cavs have notched 30+ assists in back-to-back games. Cleveland also forced 17 turnovers that converted into a season-high tying 28 points.
“It was great,” Love said. “I thought we move the ball extremely well. It was sloppy there in the first half, but we came in (at halftime) and looked at film, and the second half was great for us. we cleaned that up.”
Devin Booker led Phoenix with a game-high 30 points and seven assists. Kelly Oubre Jr. chipped-in 23 points and four rebounds.
“It’s a game of runs,” Booker said. “That’s the NBA so you know the team that can get out of that funk the fastest or keep it on a team once you have it rolling is going to be the team that wins, especially in the matchup like tonight, two of the bottom feeder teams in the NBA. I think we both felt like we were capable of winning this game and we fell short.”
The Cavs will look for their second straight win on Saturday against the Memphis Grizzlies.
POSTED 02/21/2019 22:44