Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Phoenix Suns Pick & Prediction MARCH 11th 2024

One game after facing the Eastern Conference’s first-place team, the Phoenix Suns open a four-game road swing on Monday visiting the East’s current No. 3, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Phoenix lost 117-107 to the Boston Celtics on Saturday despite 45 points from Kevin Durant. The Suns finished a seven-game stretch, during which they played six home games, at 4-3 after the loss. They played the last four games of that stretch without Devin Booker.

Suns coach Frank Vogel told reporters before Saturday’s game that Booker was “not quite there” for a return from the right ankle injury he suffered in Phoenix’s March 2 loss to the Houston Rockets. However, Vogel said he was “pleasantly surprised” with Booker’s progress in workouts.

Grayson Allen has helped fill the scoring void. He scored 28 points in a win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday and 26 points Thursday in a win over the Toronto Raptors.

Allen set a franchise mark with seven three-pointers in the first quarter against Toronto. But he struggled against Boston, going 0-for-4 from beyond the arc and finishing with just seven points.

“I wish we would have got Grayson more looks,” Durant said after Saturday’s game. “I’m sure every team is emphasizing (attempting 40 3-pointers per game). It’s hard to get that many threes up. You’ve got to get stops, for one, and you’ve got to get out in transition.”

The Cavaliers are holding opponents to 109.4 points per game, tied for third in the league, and giving up 12.1 three-pointers per game, which is eighth in the NBA.

Dealing with a variety of injuries on Sunday, the Cavaliers struggled through an uncharacteristically porous defensive effort in their 120-101 loss at home to the Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets shot 18-of-35 from 3-point range and 53.2 percent from the floor. The 120 points were the most Cleveland has allowed in regulation since its 123-121 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Feb. 12.

The Cavaliers played Sunday without star guard Donovan Mitchell, who missed his sixth straight due to a knee injury.

Evan Mobley missed his third straight on Sunday with a left ankle sprain. Cleveland was also without Max Strus, who missed his fourth straight with a knee injury.

“When we’re letting teams get us into transition. That’s a lot harder to come back from than when we clamp teams down and keep them to one side of the ball,” Georges Niang, who scored a team-high 20 points on Sunday, said to Bally Sports Cleveland. “We’re definitely going to have to do that (Monday) night.”

–Field Level Media

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