The Cavaliers will look to reverse roles on Tuesday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena against a Phoenix team that put up a lot of fight at Charlotte on Saturday but has found little success for the past month and a half.
The Lakers’ Randle had a career-high 36 points and 14 rebounds Sunday while at times going against LeBron James, who had 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Cavaliers. The Lakers had a 51-37 rebounding edge.
“I thought he just out-toughed us,” Lue said of Randle. “He bullied us all night, and we had no answer for him.”
After winning four in a row with victories over Boston and Oklahoma City amid the euphoria of the team remake at the trade deadline, the Cavs (38-28) have lost six of their last 10, including consecutive games against the L.A. teams in the second and third games of their season-long six-game road trip.
The Suns (19-49) have lost five in a row, 15 of 16 and 20 of 22, with two five-game losing streaks and a 10-game losing streak in that stretch. Their only victories have come at Memphis and home to Dallas.
They played without their top three scorers in a 122-115 loss at Charlotte on Saturday.
Devin Booker, who is ninth in the NBA with a 25.3 scoring average, missed the game with a left triceps strain; TJ Warren (19.7 points per game) was held out because of back spasms; and rookie Josh Jackson (11.5) also missed the game because of a knee injury suffered in a Thursday loss at Oklahoma City.
Booker, Warren and Jackson are considered probable for the Cavs after practicing Monday, when the Suns also signed backup point Shaquille Harrison to a multi-year deal as his second 10-day contract was about to expire. He had 14 points and four assists in 21 minutes at Charlotte.
Even though the Suns dressed only 11 players in Charlotte, including three who have spent most of the season in the G-League, they trimmed a 22-point deficit to two in the final two minutes while scoring 43 points in the fourth quarter, a season high for any quarter.
“We had a lot of guys really step up,” interim coach Jay Triano told reporters. “I was really pleased with the complete effort.”
Cleveland is in fourth place in the tightly contested middle of the Eastern Conference playoff pack as the teams scramble for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Cavaliers are one-half game behind third-place Indiana, one-half game ahead of fifth-place Washington and another game ahead of sixth-place Philadelphia.
Source: Fox Sports