The Phoenix Suns face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second game of their six-game road trip. They lost the first game of the trip, falling 104-101 to the Philadelphia 76ers. They played and beat the Cavs earlier in the season in Phoenix, coming back from a deficit as high as 26 points to defeat them 107-105. Shannon Brown came off the bench for 22 points, 12 of which came in the final quarter.
In that game, Goran Dragic also had his best offensive game, scoring 26 points on 9/16 shooting and getting to the free throw line 10 times.
This time around, the 6-8 Suns hope to get only their second road win of the season over a Cavs team that has played the least amount of home games in the league.
Game time: 5 PM Arizona time
Radio: Arizona Sports 620
That is the number of points per game that the Suns are allowing -- worst in the league. Alvin Gentry said at the beginning of the season that he wants the identity of this team to be a team that never gives up (check) and is a good defensive team (nope, not yet, despite such a promising start -- this article makes me look rather foolish, doesn't it?)
The number of rebounds Anderson Verajao is pulling down a game. Phoenix outrebounded Cleveland at home 42-39. Verajao pulled down 10, but it was a team rebounding effort for the Suns, who had four players with at least six boards in that contest.
That is the three-point shooting percentage for Suns' opponents the past two games. Tonight, they face Dion Waiters and Daniel Gibson, who combined for 8/12 behind the arc the last time they played.
Cleveland will be without point guard Kyrie Irving, who broke his left index finger. Phoenix is healthy.
Shannon Brown vs. Dion Waiters
Brown, since entering the starting lineup, has not been his explosive scoring self. He has put up 10, 10 and four points in three games. Waiters can shoot the lights out, as was evidenced in Phoenix. Phoenix needs Brown's scoring to get things going.
Marcin Gortat/Jermaine O'Neal vs. Anderson Verajao
The center position has been very productive for the Suns since O'Neal returned from an absence due to a death in the family. They combined for 37 points against Portland, 19 against New Orleans and 29 against Phlly. Verajao is the best in the league and averages over 14 points a game on almost hustle plays alone.
Player to watch:
Markieff Morris has been very productive in starting role. He is averaging over 16 points and almost seven boards since starting and will match up with second-year forward Tristan Thompson.