Instant Reaction: Phoenix Suns 99, Cleveland Cavaliers 90

Jan 26, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris (11) drives between Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Jarrett Jack (left) and center Anderson Varejao in the second quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Final Outcome

The Cleveland Cavaliers (16-28, 11-11 home) squandered an 18-point halftime lead to the Phoenix Suns (25-18, 10-11 away) at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday evening. It was a sight that had the boo birds of Cleveland coming out to show how disgusted the fan base was with the team’s lack of focus and effort over the second half of play. What was talked about in the locker room at halftime? Well, I’m really curious to know. The Cavs attempted a comeback in the fourth quarter after only managing to score nine points over 15-plus minutes of play to start the second act. The end-all result was a 99-90 Cavs loss. Pathetic.

Key Play to the Game

Phoenix’s three-point shooting over the first six minutes of the third quarter was lights out, and little to no help on defense allowed the Suns to gain enough momentum to spark the comeback and then close Cleveland out for good. Channing Frye led the by making the Suns’ first three 3s of the third quarter, and then sealed Cleveland’s fate in the fourth quarter with a dagger over Kyrie Irving that put the Suns up 93-87 with just over a minute left in the game. Frye finished 4 of 7 from deep, and helped lead the charge to scorch the punchless Cavaliers in the second half. Just what is it about help defense does this team not understand at this point? Ridiculous that this should even be talked about right now after the great first half.

Wine & Gold MVP

I guess it’s Kyrie Irving. I don’t really know if anyone deserves to be named “MVP” per se after this dibacle. These past three to four seasons I’ve felt like I’ve lived in the “Groundhog Day” world of basketball. “Didn’t this happen before but with different players?” Yeah, Kyrie had a big fourth quarter that almost allowed the Cavs to take back a victory that should have been theirs in the first place, but that’s the thing. Above average teams are able to put other teams away when they’re up 20 points at the half. The offensive was, overall, horrendous in the second half, and the defense was not much better. Irving started off passing the ball very well, but then no one could hit a stinking shot over the final 24 minutes. Kyrie finished with 24 points and nine assists and played alright defense, so I can applaud his effort over the first half and near the end of the game. But that’s just not enough to win games.

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Up Next

Cleveland will attempt to set things straight before the team embarks on a three-game road stinit against the New Orlenas Pelicans at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs traveled to New Orlenas in late November, but came out losers in a close 104-100 battle. The Wine & Gold will play their final match against the Pelicans this season at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Topics: Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving

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