Joe G's Running Game Blog

March 12, 2014
by Joe Gabriele Managing Editor

FINAL - CLE 110, PHX 101 ... Spencer Hawes set the tone early, netting 17 of his 19 points in the first quarter as the Cavs jumped on the Suns early and didn't let up, tipping off a critical West Coast road trip with the big win on Wednesday night in Phoenix. Kyrie Irving led the Wine and Gold with 23 points to go with nine boards and six assists as all five Cavalier starters plus Dion Waiters notched double-figures. The Cavs beat Phoenix on the boards, in the paint, on second-chance points and on the fastbreak.

49.4, 4Q - CLE 107, PHX 97 ... Cavs have this one under control -- have snuffed Suns rally attempts and have simply outworked them all night; all starters plus Dion Waiters in double-figures.

4:41, 4Q - CLE 100, PHX 90 ... Cavs still holding on; Kyrie 21 pts, Hawes, 19, Deng 18; Cavs winning second-chance pts, 25-12, rebounding, 46-32, fastbreak pts, 16-11.

9:40, 4Q - CLE 89, PHX 81 ... Delly takes no mess -- C. Frye takes offense at aggressive defensive play and gets in Cavs rookie's grill; Dion steps in to play peacekeeper; Waiters heating up, now w/10 pts; Cavs trying to hold on here in 4Q; have gone with three-guard lineup -- which we haven't seen in a while -- and it's been successful.

End 3Q - CLE 82, PHX 77 ... Waiters cans HUGE trey at end of 3Q -- (again the importance of closing quarters on the road) -- stalls PHX momentum heading to 4Q; it's been end-to-end action, though plenty of missed layups and turnovers; Hawes, 19 pts; Deng, 18 pts, Kyrie, 11; Dion's been frustrated through 3Q -- just 2-of-6 -- but that trey could ignite the D.Waiters Zone; Dragic leads four Suns in double-figures with 16 pts.

2:38, 3Q - CLE 75, PHX 71 ... Cavs got sloppy early in 3Q and Suns cut CLE's lead to three; Cavs trying to weather the storm; Hawes continues to lead CLE w/19 pts, 6-10 FG; Deng, 6-9 FG 16 pts; Kyrie, 11 pts, 9 reb, 5 asst; both teams shooting 47 pct FG; Dragic, Frye lead PHX w/14 pts apiece; Cavs still thumping PHX on the boards, 34-21.

Injury update ... Quick update, Hawes suffered a sprained left ankle near the end of 1H (not on the flagrant play). He got it taped at half in the locker room and will give it a go in 2H.

End 1H - CLE 60, PHX 47 ... Cavs close half with big stop; have Suns out of rhythm, still trying to incorporate Bledoe back with Dragic; despite not scoring in 2Q, Hawes still leads everyone 17 pts, left bench and headed to locker room late in 2Q, but didn't appear serious; Kyrie came alive in 2Q, now with 11 pts, 7 reb, 4 asst; Deng, 4-6 FG, 3-4 3pt FG, 12 pts; CLE shooting an even 50 pct FG, PHX, 45 pct.

5:51, 2Q - CLE 45, PHX 35 ... Good production off bench, 11 combined pts, 8 in 2Q; Markieff Morris, 8 pts off bench for PHX; all Cavs starters have scored except Tristan (who usually starts slow scoring the ball); Cavs shooting 49 pct FG, PHX, 48 pct; CLE still beating up Suns on the boards, 20-9.

End 1Q - CLE 37, PHX 24 ... Nice 37-point 1Q and Cavs are BLISTERING beyond the arc -- now 6-of-8 from 3 pt -- Hawes 3-3, Deng 2-3, Delly 1-1; Cavs shooting 52 pct FG overall; Hawes leads everyone w/17 pts; Deng w/9 pts, 3-5 FG; Cavs also crushing PHX on the boards, 16-6.

2:51, 1Q - CLE 29, PHX 18 ... Cavs looking sharp in the early-going, Hawes leads everybody with 17 points, 5-7 FG, 3-3 3pt FG -- Cavs bench calling him "Laimbeer" as he comes in after timeout; Cool, juxtaposed sequence a couple possessions earlier with Kyrie getting the blocked shot and Hawes running the break; Cavs shoooting 53 percent FG, 100 pct (5-5) from beyond the arc.

Pregame ... Cavs entering their toughest six-game stretch of the season -- PHX, GSW, LAC on the road, MIA, OKC, HOU when they return; Cavs looking for a bit of revenge after dropping tough one vs. PHX on Jan. 26 -- lost an 18-point second-half lead, despite strong games from Kyrie (24 pts), Tristan (17 pts, 13 reb) and Luol Deng (18, 10); Cavs have done well vs. the West of late -- have won four of six.

Hawes has been rock-solid since his acquisition on Feb. 20 -- shooting .526 from beyond the arc (20-for-38). In nine games with the Wine and Gold, he's averaging 15.2 points, 9.6 boards and 1.3 blocks per contest; Dion Waiters, still the highest-scoring reserve in the Eastern Conference, is averaging 17.0 ppg since his return.

Cavs called up Shane Edwards from Canton today. It's the Charge's third call-up this season -- along with Arinze Onuaku and, most recently, Jorge Gutierrez. Edwardds has played in 40 games for Canton this season, averaging 13.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. The 6-7, 220-pounder has scored 15 or more points 15 times on the season, including in 9 of his last 11 games.

"He's athletic, a good guy, can play the 2, 3 or 5 depending on the matchups at the 5-spot," said Mike Brown before Wednesday's matchup. "Just a solid, solid player."

CJ Miles is set to return on this trip, but he's definitely OUT tonight.

Starters in PHX: G Jack, G Irving, F Deng, F Thompson, C Hawes