Cavaliers Lose To The Suns 117-111: Game Recap 3/11/24

March 11, 2024

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Notes Around the Loss

1 – Late turnovers

The Cavs had two late-game turnovers. Jarrett Allen was unable to secure a pass from Darius Garland,and on the very next Cavalier’s possession, Isaac Okoro stepped out of bounds with 26 seconds left.   The Suns would go up four, and Garland missed a layup to seal the Cavs’ fate.

2 – Big Three

The Suns’ big three ruled the game. Kevin Durant scored 37, Devin Booker added 27, and Bradley Beal scored 24. Phoenix’s big three totaled 88 of the Suns’ 117 points. 

3 – Injuries

The Cavs played hard, with multiple players still out for Cleveland.   Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley, Max Strus, and Dean Wade were all out on Monday. 

Game Recap

In Monday night’s showdown, Kevin Durant notched an impressive 37 points, while Devin Booker made a strong return from a right ankle sprain, contributing 27 points as the Phoenix Suns clinched a 117-111 victory over the injury-plagued Cleveland Cavaliers.

Durant showcased his versatility with eight rebounds and six assists, further boosting the Suns’ position in the Western Conference, where they currently hold a one-game lead over Sacramento for sixth place. Booker, who had been sidelined for four games due to injury, returned with a vengeance, playing 38 minutes, and making significant contributions with seven assists and six rebounds.

Despite facing a daunting 63-44 deficit midway through the second quarter, Phoenix staged a remarkable comeback, embarking on a 43-15 run that extended well into the third quarter. Booker’s pivotal transition score with seven minutes left ultimately secured the Suns’ lead at 106-104.

On the Cavaliers’ side, Darius Garland led the charge with 30 points, while Caris LeVert contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds. Despite trailing 113-111 with only 51 seconds remaining, Cleveland’s hopes of a comeback were dashed by consecutive turnovers from Jarrett Allen and Isaac Okoro.

The Cavaliers, currently placed third in the East, faced the challenge without shooting guard Donovan Mitchell for the seventh consecutive game, as he continues to recover from left knee soreness. Adding to their woes, Cleveland also missed the services of starting forwards Evan Mobley (left ankle sprain) and Max Strus (right knee strain).

The Suns embarked on a challenging four-game road trip, including matchups against formidable Eastern Conference opponents Boston and Milwaukee. Bradley Beal contributed 24 points, with Jusuf Nurkic adding nine points and eight rebounds to the effort.

Garland’s explosive performance saw him rack up 21 points in the first quarter alone, finishing the opening half with a total of 25 points, enabling the Cavaliers to maintain a 70-63 lead at halftime. However, the back-to-back home losses, including a 120-101 defeat to Brooklyn on Sunday, underscored Cleveland’s challenges.

Mitchell’s absence from his 18th game of the season renders him ineligible for All-NBA consideration. Despite his remarkable performance as the league’s fifth-leading scorer with an average of 28.0 points per game, and ranking third in steals, the mandatory number of games raises questions, as highlighted by Suns coach Frank Vogel, who expressed disappointment at seeing players like Mitchell and Joel Embiid excluded from consideration.

Up Next

Host Suns At New Orleans on Wednesday night.

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