Social Nav Bar Overrides - v2019
Global Sub Nav - v2019
Blank Spacer - 20px
The Cavaliers close out their five-game homestand hosting a pair of Playoff-bound Western Conference teams in back-to-back nights, beginning with Tuesday’s matchup against Chris Paul and the surging Suns.
Cleveland turned in one of its best offensive showings of the year on Saturday night, but it wasn’t enough to get past a Heat team looking to seal their postseason position. The Wine & Gold shot 50 percent from the floor and 50 percent from three-point range, drilling 20 triples in the process. Kevin Love had his best night of the season, but the Cavaliers as a team committed 19 turnovers that led to 24 Miami points and dropped their sixth straight.
The Suns are percentage points away from having the best mark in the NBA as they come to Cleveland – and they recently beat the only team ahead of them by three touchdowns. Phoenix followed that win up with a three-point victory over the Conference’s worst squad, squeaking by the Thunder for its fourth straight.
The Suns dropped the Cavaliers by six back in early February of this season after missing both matchups last year due to the COVID-shortened season. Overall, the Wine & Gold have won eight of the last 10 against Phoenix.
Where Chris Paul goes, winning follows – and this season in the Valley of the Sun has been some of the future Hall of Famer’s finest work.
The 16th-year man is having an MVP-caliber year with the Suns – averaging 16.2ppg and 8.8apg and shooting 49 percent from the floor at age 35. The only players in NBA history to post comparable numbers at that age are LeBron James and former Sun, Steve Nash. Also one of the games’ top defenders, the durable 11-time All-Star has missed just one game all year – the February 8 meeting with the Cavs.
But Paul and the Cavs have seen plenty of each other over the years – with CP3 owning a 13-12 mark, averaging 15.6 points and 10.2 assists.
Paul will need to be sharp on both ends tonight trying to contain Cleveland’s top scorer, Collin Sexton, who ran his 20-point game streak to 14 games on Saturday night – netting 25 points on 8-of-20 shooting, including 4-of-6 from deep, adding eight assists, a pair of steals and a block.
Sexton has topped that mark in each of his last two meetings against Phoenix, including a team-high 23 the last time these two teams met – connecting on 10-of-15 shots to go with five assists.
While Sexton led the Wine & Gold in that February 8 matching in the desert, the game’s leading man was Devin Booker – who went off for 36 points and a game-high eight assists, going 14-for-27 from the floor, including five triples.
Making his second straight All-Star appearance this past March, the former Kentucky standout has been excellent all season and comes into tonight’s contest as the West’s reigning Player of the Week – averaging 30.6 points on 54 percent shooting over his last five games, topping the 30-point mark in four of them.
Booker’s also been outstanding against Cleveland in the most recent meetings, averaging 26.2 points and 7.7 helpers over the last six, head-to-head.
Isaac Okoro obviously isn’t the offensive weapon that Booker has become, but he’s gradually figuring it out on that end after spending his rookie season in the defensive crucible.
Okoro stretched his streak of double-digit scoring to a career-high five games on Saturday night – netting 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting while trying to contain Jimmy Butler for most of the night. Over Okoro’s five-game run, the No. 5 overall pick in this past Draft is averaging 13.2 points and 3.8 boards per.