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- Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao leads the NBA in rebounding with a 14.7 average and is working on a streak of five straight double-doubles. The mop-topped Brazilian is averaging 13.6 points and 17.6 rebounds during that span. “The way Anderson is rebounding the ball right now, the only comparison you can make is to (NBA all-time great) Dennis Rodman,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “So many players assume every shot is going to be made, but he plays every shot like it’s going to be missed. That’s really why he’s such a great rebounder.”
- Phoenix rallied from a 26-point deficit to beat Cleveland 107-105 at US Airways Center on Nov. 9. It was the third-largest comeback in Suns history, as well as the biggest blown lead by the Cavaliers since 1980 (when the NBA began tracking the statistic). “We definitely don’t want to be in a hole like that again, but it did allow us to show everyone what kind of a winning attitude we have,” Phoenix shooting guard Shannon Brown said.
- The Suns’ lineup consists of Brown, point guard Goran Dragic, small forward Michael Beasley, power forward Markieff Morris, and center Marcin Gortat. Phoenix is 0-1 on its current six-game, 10-day road trip — its longest of the 2012-2013 season — and has a 1-5 overall record in away games.
- Cleveland will start Varejao, power forward Tristan Thompson, small forward Alonzo Gee, shooting guard Dion Waiters, and point guard Jeremy Pargo. The Cavaliers have lost three straight games, all on the road, but are 2-2 at Quicken Loans Arena this season.
- Inactive for the Suns are center Channing Frye (enlarged heart) and point guard Diante Garrett. Not in uniform for Cleveland are point guard Kyrie Irving (left index finger fracture) and power forward Luke Harangody (right knee surgery).
- Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Irving is not expected to return to action until mid-December, but he did work out and attempt many shots on the arena’s main court before the game. His broken finger remains in a splint and was heavily wrapped in blue tape.
– Brian Dulik