July 24, 2014

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Kyrie Irving scores 23 as Cleveland leads Suns wire-to-wire, snaps 4-game skid

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving tries to dribble past Phoenix Suns' Goran Dragic.  The Cavaliers defeated the Suns 110-101. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving tries to dribble past Phoenix Suns’ Goran Dragic. The Cavaliers defeated the Suns 110-101. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Kyrie Irving scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Cleveland Cavaliers spoiled the return of Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe with a 110-101 victory over the Suns on Wednesday night.

Spencer Hawes added 19, 17 in the first quarter, and Luol Deng scored 18 as the Cavs snapped a four-game losing streak.

Bledsoe, who underwent knee surgery and missed 33 games, had 15 points on
5-for-16 shooting and a team-high nine assists.

Goran Dragic scored 20 points, Markieff Morris 18 and Channing Frye 17 in the Suns’ third straight loss.

Irving also had nine rebounds and six assists for the Cavs, who never trailed, building a 14-point first-quarter lead. The Suns twice cut it to two in the third quarter.

Phoenix fell two games behind Memphis and Dallas for the final two playoff spots in the West.

Cleveland led by 15 in the opening minutes of the third quarter but the Suns, behind Dragic’s 11 third-quarter points, cut it to two twice late in the period, the last time on Gerald Green’s 11-footer in the lane that made it 77-75 with 35.9 seconds left. But after the teams traded baskets, Dion Waiters made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put Cleveland up 82-77 entering the fourth.

It was part of a 12-2 run that gave the Cavaliers an 89-77 lead on Irving’s 18-footer with 10:15 to play.

“A lot of huge contributions from a lot of our guys, especially from the three-point line,” Cleveland coach Mike Brown said.

Green’s steal and breakaway dunk cut it to 89-81, but Irving scored eight, including two 3-pointers, in a 9-3 spurt and the Cavs led 98-84 with 6:33 left.

Green had eight points on 4-of-14 shooting, 0-for-6 from 3-point range as the Suns went 10-for-36 from beyond the arc to Cleveland’s 12-of-24. The Cavs outrebounded Phoenix 51-36.

The Suns also struggled from the foul line, going 13-of-22 to Cleveland’s 22-of-27.

Hawes scored 17 in the first quarter, including 3-for-3 on 3-pointers, as Cleveland took a 37-24 lead. It was the highest-scoring first quarter of the season for the Cavaliers.

“They were sinking back and just letting me walk into some on the trail so I took advantage of that,” Hawes said.

Phoenix never got closer than nine in the second quarter. Markieff Morris scored inside to make it 46-37, but Tristan Thompson made a 6-footer, Deng made a three and Cleveland led 51-37 with 4:01 left in the half.

Note
The Cavaliers signed forward Shane Edwards from the Canton Charge, the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, to a 10-day contract.

To create a roster spot for Edwards, the team released forward Arinze Onuaku from his second 10-day contract that was set to expire today.

Edwards has appeared in 40 games (32 starts) for the Charge this season, averaging 13.3 points on .547 shooting and 5.5 rebounds in 28.2 minutes. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward has scored 15 or more points 15 times on the season, including in nine of his last 11 games, and has two double-doubles.

Edwards joined the team in Phoenix and was available Wednesday. He will wear No. 24.

Cavaliers 110, Suns 101
CLEVELAND (110): Deng 7-12 1-1 18, Thompson 3-7 7-10 13, Hawes 6-11 4-4 19, Irving 9-19 2-2 23, Jack 3-7 5-6 11, Waiters 4-11 0-0 10, Varejao 3-7 0-0 6, Dellavedova 2-4 2-2 7, Zeller 1-3 1-2 3, Gee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-81 22-27 110.
PHOENIX (101): Marc.Morris 5-8 1-4 14, Frye 5-14 3-4 17, Plumlee 4-5 1-2 9, Dragic 8-19 2-4 20, Green 4-14 0-0 8, Bledsoe 5-16 4-6 15, Mark.Morris 8-13 2-2 18, Randolph 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 39-90 13-22 101.
Cleveland 37 23 22 28 — 110
Phoenix 24 23 30 24 — 101
3-Point Goals—Cleveland 12-24 (Hawes 3-4, Deng 3-6, Irving 3-6, Waiters 2-5, Dellavedova 1-2, Jack 0-1), Phoenix 10-36 (Frye 4-10, Marc.Morris 3-5, Dragic 2-6, Bledsoe 1-6, Mark.Morris 0-3, Green 0-6). Fouled Out—Green. Rebounds—Cleveland 60 (Irving, Deng 9), Phoenix 48 (Plumlee, Mark.Morris 10). Assists—Cleveland 20 (Irving 6), Phoenix 20 (Bledsoe 9). Total Fouls—Cleveland 21, Phoenix 21. Flagrant Fouls—Hawes, Frye. A—17,902 (18,422).