To counter the visiting Suns starting unit of Nash, Carter, Hill, Frye and Lopez, the Cavaliers rolled out Manny Harris, Alonzo Gee, Ramon Sessions, J.J. Hickson and Antawn Jamison.
Only nine active if you hadn't heard, and all but Ryan Hollins got some burn in the first quarter.
Sidenote on Hollins, as I was walking into the Q I saw three kids with their Dad all wearing "Hollins Hood" t-shirts. That's Cleveland sports kids, I thought...builds character.
Anyways, Mo Williams is out tonight as we know, and may have very well played his last game this season. Just a hunch, not official obviously, but I can't imagine him making it back to finish this thing out for any reason.
First Half Game Notes:
When I saw Vince Carter bouncing around just prior to the jump ball, he looked to me like he thought he was going to cash in for 50+ tonight against the previously mentioned starting perimeter playing Cavaliers. He won't though, and was actually probably excited more about the realization he had a paid night off in front of him. Carter didn't score in the first quarter, same with Manny Harris.
Ramon Sessions was the Cavalier trying to keep them in it early though.
At the 8:25 mark the Cavaliers led 10-8, and you can thank Sessions for six of those bad boys. Sessions would finish the quarter with a team high 10-points. Samardo Samuels came off the bench first and made two baskets, and Jamison had five in the first quarter as well.
The lead - mostly attributed to the fact that Grant Hill looked like he was wearing his old Pistons uniform for the first quarter and was basically unguardable on his way to 14 first quarter points - was at 10 until Jamario Moon made a lay-up at the 1st quarter buzzer to cut it to 8 (36-28).
By the 6:14 mark of the 2nd though, the lead would be back out to 13.
JJ Hickson would launch a shot attempt out of a timeout into the first row, and the Cavaliers would go down by 15, before eventually finishing the half down 13 (62-49).
Antawn Jamison made a little push to finish the half with a team high 16. Sessions still has 10 points, but also has 5 assists. Manny Harris made two free throws, and Alonzo Gee scored. Hickson finished the half with a team high 7 rebounds, to go along with 5 points.
Vince Carter still didn't score and finished the half with 0. Grant Hill finished with 14, and Nash finished the half with 8 dimes.
2nd Half Notes:
The third quarter saw this lead balloon as high as 17 points, and I started turning my attention to the in-game music celebrations by the Quicken Loans Arena staff.
I wondered aloud via twitter if it was necessary to celebrate with public address music a Phoenix traveling call, for example. 1 and 23 record in the your last 24, and you’re almost kinda mocking the Suns for deflecting the ball out of bounds, in other cases.
So in summary I was starting to drift.
Then, all the sudden J.J. Hickson grabbed a rebound, and dribbled coast to freaking (insert Jim Rome voice) coast for the eventual hoop and the proverbial harm. Three point play, in laymens terms, and he cut it to six.
I was back in it at that point, and so were the Cavs, basically for the duration.
On a tip from Scott over at WFNY (also on location tonight) it should be noted that the Cavaliers - after giving up 62 points on 52% shooting in the first half - were holding to Phoenix to 38% with 6 minutes to go.
Read: competing and trying to win even though the world knows they are completely overmatched and really can’t win. Also read, respectable showing of guys who chose not to embarrass themselves this evening.
They’d even go so far as cutting it to 93-90 late in the game, but they would eventually lose again by 8, 106-98.
Hickson did have 16 points and 15 rebounds, and he looked alive tonight.
Jamison had 23 and 6, but did limp over to Max Benton at one point late so keep an eye on that. All in all though, he did take another step towards pushing his trade value as high as it can theoretically go tonight, so hats off. Hope your phone starts ringing Chris.
Gibson had 16, and Ramon Sessions might have had his best game of the season. Sessions finished with 19-5-8, but obviously not enough.
Grant Hill looked like he was playing alongside Bobby Hurley tonight, as opposed to Stevie Nash, and went back in time to score 27 points and grab 12 boards to lead all scorers. Nash had 15 and 15.
Cavs are 8 and 33.
For the postgame VIDEO I took of Grant Hill and Byron Scott, click here.