The Suns won 14th in a row, beating the Cavaliers 120-115
Cleveland Devin Booker scored 35 points, Chris Paul scored 12 assists and made four free throws in the last 8.8 seconds, and the Phoenix Suns extended their winning streak to 14 games by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-115 on Wednesday night.
Phoenix’s career began with a victory over Cleveland on October 30, after the season opener 1-3 for the Western Conference champion. The Suns has been perfect ever since and improved the NBA’s best road record to 7-1.
It wasn’t easy.
The young Caves club gave everything they could handle, and if it wasn’t for Paul, there could have been two calls either way and Cleveland’s Ricky Rubio lost three free throws in the final seconds, the streak might have been over.
It was also the 100th victory with the Suns for coach Monty Williams, who is in his third season with the club.
Garrett Allen scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Sidi Othman added 23 points for Cleveland, who fell for the fifth time in a row. Darius Garland scored 19 goals before spoiling late.
Paul finished the season with 17 points and Gaval McGee added 13 points and 12 rebounds in 20 minutes from the bench.
The Cleveland team was still at 117-114 when the Suns missed Rubio with 6.5 seconds left. The veteran point guard, who had more time with leading scorer Colin Sexton of the year, split the duo and Cleveland was forced to commit Booker’s foul.
The Suns star also made one of only two and brought Phoenix Rubio back to the test. He fouled two more times, the second on purpose before Paul sealed it by closing two free throws with 3.8 seconds left.
Phoenix’s winning streak is the third longest in club history, matched by 14 players by the club in 1992. The Suns won 17 in a row during the 2006-07 season.
Leading by just one point after three, the Suns outflanked the Cavs 13-4 to start the fourth inning and open a 100-90 lead by 6:56 from the left.
However, Phoenix couldn’t pull off as Usman kept Cleveland close by scoring nine consecutive points in one stretch and then buried a three-pointer to pull Cleveland within 105-104 with 3:49 remaining.
Cleveland returned Phoenix’s firepower in the first 24 minutes and led 66-61 in the first half after making eight three-pointers in the first half, which scored the highest number of goals this season. There were 10 major changes and 11 draws in the first half.
Booker dropped his first eight shots – barely one touched the edge – while scoring 24 points in the first half.
Suns: F Mikal Bridges played their 245th game in a row to start his career, the longest active streak in the league. Abdel Nader (Injury Management), who underwent surgery on his right knee on April 26, is out of his third game in a row. …F Frank Kaminsky (Right Knee Strain Reaction) missed five games in a row. … F Dario Saric (right knee surgery) last played in the opening game of the 2021 NBA Finals.
Cavaliers: In some ways, Cleveland has modeled its rebuilding after Phoenix’s rise by crafting wisely and supplementing the roster with clever free agent contracts. “That’s our goal,” said coach JB Bickerstaff. “To achieve the things they achieved and kind of build the way they built. We are going in the right direction.” … Shortly into the season, Cleveland still misses rookie F Evan Mobley (an elbow sprain), Sexton (season-ending knee injury) and J. Lamar Stevens (ankle sprain).
Suns: They continued their four-game run in New York on Friday against the Knicks.
Cavaliers: Host the Orlando Magic on Saturday.
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