Suns 99, Cavaliers 90

By The Sports Xchange
POSTED: 8:00 PM Jan 26 2014   UPDATED: 8:00 PM Jan 26 2014

CLEVELAND -- Markieff Morris came off the bench to score 27 points and grab 15 rebounds, leading the Phoenix Suns to a 99-90 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena.

Morris' scoring and rebounding totals were both game highs. The 6-foot-10 forward from Kansas led five players in double figures for the Suns, who were on the first leg of a four-game East Coast trip.

Point guard Goran Dragic added 15 points, five rebounds and seven assists for Phoenix (25-18). Forward P.J. Tucker finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving had a team-high 24 points and a game-high nine assists for the Cavaliers (16-28). Cleveland forward Luol Deng added 18 points and 10 rebounds, but he made just seven of 18 shots from the floor. Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson added 17 points and 13 rebounds.

The Cavaliers suffered a major scare with 4:25 left in the game when center Anderson Varejao fell awkwardly to the court and held his left knee. However, he stayed in the game. Varejao finished with two points and 10 rebounds.

The Suns shot 41.5 percent, slightly better than the Cavaliers' 39.5 percent accuracy. Phoenix also outrebounded Cleveland 50-43.

Cleveland led by 20 points in the first half before getting outscored 25-6 in the third quarter. Phoenix clamped down defensively on the Cavaliers, who made just two of 22 shots in the third (9 percent).

The six-point effort was the lowest for the Cavaliers in any quarter this season. It also tied the Suns' franchise record for fewest points allowed in a quarter. Cleveland's all-time low in a quarter is four points.

Effective 3-point shooting sparked the Suns' comeback. Forward Channing Frye connected on all three of his 3-point tries in the third, and Phoenix made five of 12 from behind the arc in the quarter.

The Cavaliers led 61-41 before the Suns made the final basket of the first half.

Cleveland shot a blistering 54.5 percent from the field before halftime compared to the Suns' 39.5 percent.

NOTES: The Cavaliers recalled F Sergey Karasev and G Carrick Felix from the NBA Development League. Cleveland coach Mike Brown said the action they received in the minors was "priceless." ... Cavs big men Anderson Varejao (10.3) and Tristan Thompson (9.8) are pulling down a combined 20.1 rebounds per game. Among Eastern Conference duos, they trail only the Detroit Pistons' Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, who combine for 21.5. ... G Goran Dragic, the Suns' leading scorer and playmaker, has a fan in Brown. "I thought since he's been in the league, if he had a team that's his own, had the right people around him and in the right system, he could really do some damage," Brown said. ... Suns G Eric Bledsoe (right arthroscopic knee surgery) should be back sometime after the All-Star break. He came on the team's four-game East Coast trip to do his rehab work with the training staff.