The opening minutes of the game seemed to indicate that it would be an outing where defense was notably absent. However, that style of play was not adopted by the Cavs for long. They applied the clamps on the Suns and were able to pull away. The combination of defense and a superior effort from their supporting cast allowed them to cruise to the easy home win.
The game looked like it would provide some much needed rest for the big three in their fourth game in five nights. The red hot Kevin Love added a thirteen point, ten rebound double double on only four shots; while LeBron James added seventeen points, eight assists and five rebounds on the night. But Blatt elected to insert the trio back into the game in the fourth after the Suns got the lead below twenty points. While their presence probably wasn't completely necessarily, it certainly helped cement the result of the game.
Thoughts from the game:
- Coming off a game last night where effort was lacking, the shot of adrenaline that Tristan Thompson provided was fantastic. On most nights this season it has been redundant to bring up the effort of Thompson as it's been so relentless and consistent. You can count on each game having four quarters and double T battling for however many minutes he gets. But he was on another level tonight, compiling fifteen points and twelve rebounds on the night.
- Timofey Mozgov was absolutely sensational as well, finishing with nineteen points on 6/8 shooting. The Cavs were able to take advantage of his size and mobility and punish the smaller Suns. The big Russian continues to be incredibly effective in limited minutes. With the kind of production the team is seeing from it's three big man tandem of Mozgov, Love and Thompson, it's easy to understand why the minutes get distributed the way they do. But it leaves you wishing you could see more of each of them. I guess it's better than seeing too much.
- Kendrick Perkins played the most minutes he's played as a Cavalier, and... well... he scowls a fair bit out there.
- The Cavs did seem to take their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter with the game seemingly in hand. It was completely understandable given that it was the fourth game in five nights. They'll have a couple days off now before they head on the road to visit the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday night.