Phoenix Suns vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Watch Live TV Stream Online For Free; Preview
The Cavaliers, who have played a league-low four home games, are trying to win consecutive games at Quicken Loans Arena for the first time since mid-February, while the Suns are looking to avoid their first four-game road losing streak since mid-February to early March. The latter has won two straight in Cleveland recently, including a 107-105 comeback victory earlier this month that required storming back from a 26-point third-quarter deficit.
However, especially in the NBA, it's hard to come back from deficits constantly. Against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, the Suns briefly took the lead after trailing by 10 late in the third quarter, but they fell 104-101 to open their season-high six-game trip.
If the Suns want to avoid having to catch up from being down, they will have to mitigate yielding a league-worst 103.3 points per game. Giving up the three-point shot killing them, too, as their opponents are 22 for 45 from beyond the arc over the last two games.
Luckily, the Suns have a guy like Shannon Brown, who can explosively bail them out from deficits. The former Cleveland first-round pick led the Suns' surge against the Cavaliers earlier in the month with 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter.
But, watch out for Markieff Morris, who scored a then-career-high 22 points for the Suns back in March in Cleveland. Morris, who is expected to make his fourth consecutive start in place of Jared Dudley, is averaging team highs of 16.7 points and 6.7 rebounds since coach Alvin Gentry made the switch. Keep an eye on point guard Goran Dragic as well, who led the Suns with a season-best 26 points against the Cavaliers on Nov. 9.
As for the Cavaliers, they continue to struggle without phenom point guard Kyrie Irving, who remains out with a broken left index finger. As a result, it will be up to rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters to score and center Anderson Varejao to transform rebounds into possessions. At the same time, don't be surprised to those two pressured more than ever.
Waiters and Varejao each had 15 points on Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies, and Varejao added 22 rebounds to lift his league-leading average to 14.7. Still, that wasn't enough as Memphis walked away with an 84-78 win.
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