CLEVELAND (AP) – LeBron James scored 27 points in three quarters, Kevin Love added 20 and the Cleveland Cavaliers welcomed back three players from injury during a 120-95 blowout Friday night over the sinking Phoenix Suns, who lost their 10th straight game.
James added nine assists and six rebounds before watching and cheering from the bench in the fourth while the Cavs rolled to an easy win with their healthiest roster in weeks. Forwards Tristan Thompson, Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood all returned from injuries, good news as Cleveland gears up for the playoffs.
Phoenix was without its top two scorers, Devin Booker (right hand sprain) and T.J. Warren (left knee inflammation). But even they might not have been able to stop the Suns from losing for the 25th time in 27 games.
Troy Daniels scored 20 points, and Marquese Chriss had 19 to pace Phoenix.
Seemingly disinterested early on, the Cavs found themselves trailing 30-23 after one quarter. But after missing their first seven 3-pointers, the Cavs found their range and knocked down four long shots in a row – including a 28-footer by Love – and went on a 32-7 run.
The Cavs outscored the Suns 39-18 in the second quarter, pushed their lead to 30 in the third and coasted to their seventh straight win over Phoenix.
Although Nance Jr. was back, Cavs acting coach Larry Drew, sitting in while Tyronn Lue is away dealing with health issues, stuck with his same starting lineup. That could change in the days ahead as Cleveland tinkers with a team that has only been at full strength for one game all season.
Nance Jr. finished with 15 points and 10rebounds in 22 minutes. Hood had nine points in 21 minutes and Thompson nine rebounds in 16 minutes.
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