Posts Tagged ‘Suns news’

SUNS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • 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

SUNS AT CAVALIERS, 3 P.M. ET

TV: NBA TV

  • Cavaliers shooting guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson (left ankle sprain) will miss his third straight game, but is still listed as day-to-day. “Boobie is getting better, but we’ll see how he feels by Tuesday,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. Gibson was injured Monday at New Jersey, prompting Scott to elevate second-year pro Manny Harris into his role as the first guard off the bench. Cavaliers starting center Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture) is expected to be cleared to return to practice in 2-3 weeks.
  • Suns coach Alvin Gentry was effusive in his praise for Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving — the leading candidate for NBA Rookie of the Year. Irving, who is averaging 18.9 points and 5.7 assists, lit up Phoenix for 26 points and six helpers in the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 12. “Everyone talks about Kyrie’s great speed, but people underestimate the strength he plays with,” Gentry said, adding with a laugh. “I just found out he turned 20 (on Friday), which floored me because I’ve got suits older than he is.”
  • The Suns enter the day two games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 18 contests remaining. “We’re just trying to stay relevant in the playoff chase,” Gentry said. “We struggled at the start of the season and got behind the eight-ball, so it’s been very difficult to get back over .500.”
  • Phoenix’s starting lineup is point guard Steve Nash, shooting guard Jared Dudley, small forward Grant Hill, power forward Channing Frye, and center Marcin Gortat. Nash ranks second in NBA history in career free throw percentage at .9031, just behind retired Cavaliers great Mark Price at .9039.
  • Cleveland’s first five consists of center Tristan Thompson, power forward Antawn Jamison, small forward Alonzo Gee, shooting guard Anthony Parker, and Irving. Thompson is averaging 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds since being moved into the starting lineup four games ago.

– Brian Dulik