NBA regular season

Cavaliers’ balanced attack sends Suns below .500 for 1st time

Cavaliers’ balanced attack sends Suns below .500 for 1st time

DOUBLE D. Donovan Mitchell links up with Darius Garland as they lead the scoring for the Cavaliers.

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The shorthanded Suns lose a season-high six games in a row as they play without stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker

Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland each scored 22 points to lift the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers to a 112-98 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, January 8 (Monday, January 9, Manila time).

Mitchell made 8 of 17 shots from the floor and Garland 7 of 12 despite entering the game with a questionable tag due to a right thumb sprain.

Evan Mobley collected 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Jarrett Allen added 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists for the Cavaliers, who shot a robust 57.7% from the floor (45-of-78) en route to defeating the Suns for the second time in five days. Cleveland recorded a 90-88 victory over Phoenix on Wednesday.

Isaac Okoro drained 4 three-pointers to highlight his 14-point performance and Caris LeVert added 13 points off the bench as the Cavaliers benefited from outscoring the Suns by a 32-19 margin in the fourth quarter.

Phoenix’s Duane Washington Jr. highlighted his 25-point performance by sinking 5 three-pointers. Mikal Bridges scored 15 points and Deandre Ayton added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the shorthanded Suns, who have lost a season-high six in a row and fell below .500 for the first time in 2022-23.

Phoenix kept within earshot by sinking 14 three-pointers, but it also committed 16 turnovers that led to its undoing.

Chris Paul (right hip soreness) joined Devin Booker (groin strain), Cam Johnson (knee) and Cameron Payne (foot) in sitting out the game for the Suns.

Cleveland held an 80-79 lead after three quarters before starting the fourth with a flourish. Garland, Raul Neto, and LeVert each drained a three-pointer to highlight a 27-6 to start the quarter. Phoenix made a modest push, but it was far too late at that point.

The Cavaliers held a 51-38 lead with 5:26 to play in the second quarter before Washington converted a four-point play to highlight a 16-6 run by Phoenix to finish the half. Washington added a pair of three-pointers and a driving layup during the surge. –

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