Game 41: Suns at Cavs
at Quicken Loans Arena
RADIO/TV: WTAM/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Suns have won four of their last five games since beating the Cavs on Jan. 9 in Phoenix. The Cavs have had a chance to win both games against the Suns - both eight-point losses - but failed to execute down the stretch.
The big emphasis in Wednesday's game was defense. The Suns shot 47 percent from the field and 32 percent from the 3-point line. That's getting respectable.
I don't know why it took Coach Byron Scott half a season to decide this team needs to defend better. But for whatever reason, it's the emphasis now.
Ramon Sessions started at point guard against the Suns and will likely be the starter while Mo Williams is out. Williams said before the game he'll likely miss a few weeks after getting a cortisone shot in his left hip. He'd been suffering from a strained hip flexor.
Sessions had good numbers - 19 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals - but also turned the ball over five times. He has a knack for crucial turnovers at the worst time.
Suns guard Steve Nash, who is having an All-Star season, had 15 points and 15 assists. He took only nine shots, but once again controlled the tempo.
He's second in the NBA in assists (10.8), but has led the league in assists in four of the previous six seasons.
He's a joy to watch.
ATTENDANCE NOTE: The Cavs have sold out 88 consecutive regular-season games. However, Wednesday's game wasn't more than half full for most of the game. They announced a sellout only because of "tickets sold" and not actual attendance.
BLOWOUT CITY: The Cavs have lost by an average score of 16.5 points in their stretch of losing 24 of the last 25 games.
HUMAN ERASER: Forward Jamario Moon had a season-high five blocks. He's the second Cavs player to have five swats in a game this season (Anderson Varejao had five against Charlotte on Dec. 29).
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Grant Hill (6-8, 225)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Channing Frye (6-11, 245)
C J.J. Hickson (6-9, 242) vs. Robin Lopez (7-0, 255)
SG Manny Harris (6-5, 185) vs. Vince Carter (6-6, 220)
PG Ramon Sessions (6-3, 185) vs. Steve Nash (6-3, 178)
Cavs – C Anderson Varejao, F Leon Powe, G/F Anthony Parker.
Suns – F Gani Lawal.
Ken Mauer, Mark Ayotte, Brent Barnaky