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Nash and the Suns were swept by the Cavaliers last season.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
Posted: Jan. 9, 2011

The Phoenix Suns are trying to avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season, set just last month.

So are the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Hoping to solve its scoring woes, Phoenix will look to snap a three-game slide Sunday night at US Airways Center by taking advantage of an injury-riddled Cavaliers team which has dropped nine in a row.

The Suns (14-20) are averaging 105.8 points - among the best in the league - but have been held to 93.0 per game over their last four. They are at risk of being held under 100 in five consecutive games for the first time since 2004.

Phoenix is 2-12 when scoring 100 points or less, but it could be in line for a big offensive performance against a Cavaliers club allowing 108.5 per game in its last six.

Plus, Cleveland (8-28) is trying to avoid another double-digit losing streak, having dropped 10 straight Nov. 30-Dec. 17 for its worst slide since January 2002.

The Suns snapped a season-high four-game losing streak with a win over Detroit on New Year's Eve, but they've since dropped three in a row.

After narrow losses in Sacramento last Sunday and to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Phoenix lost to former Suns star Amar'e Stoudemire and New York 121-96 on Friday night. It was the Suns' worst home loss since a 128-103 defeat to Memphis on Jan. 2, 2010.

"We didn't play bad against the Lakers, we didn't play bad against Sacramento; we found a way to lose both games, but we're working hard in practice and it's not transferring to the court enough," Steve Nash said after Phoenix's ninth home loss, matching last season's total.

"We're a little inconsistent, we've lost some confidence, but we've got to fight through it. We've got to be tough and we got to find a way to win some of these games and not feel sorry for ourselves."

The Cavs could feel sorry for themselves considering their long injury list. In a 116-98 loss at Golden State on Friday, Cleveland played without starters Daniel Gibson (ankle), Anthony Parker (back) and Anderson Varejao (ankle).

None of them are likely to be available Sunday.

"All you can do sometimes is shake your head when things like this keep cropping up," said coach Byron Scott, forced to use his 12th different starting lineup Friday. "It's the opportunity for these young guys to show us what they can do."

Undrafted rookie Manny Harris has been doing just that. He has started four of the last five games and scored a season-high 16 versus Golden State.

"At times, (the game) has slowed down, but I still slip into bad habits," Harris told the team's official website. "I think the more and more I play, they'll continue to slow down and I'll make less and less mistakes."

Antawn Jamison had 21 points to lead his team in scoring for the third consecutive game. He is averaging 29.3 over that span.

Cleveland has won the last four meetings with Phoenix as Mo Williams has averaged 27.3 points, including a career-high 44 in a 109-92 victory Feb. 11, 2009.

The Cavaliers are mired in a 15-game road losing streak, their longest since 2003. This is their second stop on a five-game road trip.

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