Cavaliers at Suns
The Cleveland Cavaliers are reeling from back-to-back 14-point losses in Los Angeles as they arrive in Phoenix and aim to defeat the Suns for the sixth straight time on Tuesday. Cleveland allowed an average of 121.5 points in setbacks against the Clippers and Lakers and has dropped four of its last six games.
The Cavaliers opened a six-game road excursion with a win in Denver but continue to experience matchup issues in the interior with power forward Kevin Love (broken left hand) and center Tristan Thompson (sprained right ankle) sidelined. "I think the rebounding hurts us," Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said after Sunday's 127-113 loss to the Lakers. "I think the physicality on the block. Not having as many bigs, having to double team the post a lot and scramble around, but that's what we have to do right now, so, no excuses." Phoenix has far worse issues than the Cavaliers as it has endured five straight losses and 20 in its last 22 games. Shooting guard Devin Booker (triceps) sat out Saturday's 122-115 loss to the Charlotte Hornets and his availability may not be decided until Tuesday.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FS Ohio (Cleveland), FS Arizona (Phoenix)
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (38-28): Forward LeBron James said, "I will never accept a loss, it is not in my DNA," after Sunday's defeat but he also expressed similar sentiments than those of Lue about the shortage of players. "At the end of the day, you have to make the most with whoever is on the floor and get the most from whoever is playing but sometimes you can't overcome the injuries we have," James told reporters. "It is next man up and sometimes you fall short." Forward Cedi Osman (hip flexor, expected to miss two weeks) and swingman Rodney Hood (back) were injured was in Friday's loss to the Clippers and the Cavaliers hope to get Hood back against the Suns.
ABOUT THE SUNS (19-49): Phoenix made 18-of-32 3-point attempts and played well offensively in the loss to the Hornets, especially considering Booker (25.3 average), forward TJ Warren (19.7) and rookie swingman Josh Jackson (11.5) were all out of the lineup. Warren missed the last two games because of a lower back sprain while Jackson was held out Saturday due to a left knee injury after being 2-of-14 shooting over the previous two games. Power forward Dragan Bender showed some life with 16 points against Charlotte after 10 consecutive single-digit efforts.
1. James averaged 24.5 points, 9.5 assists and 8.5 rebounds as the Cavaliers won both of last season's meetings.
2. Cleveland PF Larry Nance Jr. recorded 16 points and eight rebounds against the Lakers and has seven straight double-digit scoring performances.
3. Phoenix backup SG Troy Daniels made five 3-pointers against Charlotte, marking the eighth time this season he has made five or more.