In their first meeting in February this year, the Phoenix Suns beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-113, with Devin Booker scoring a game-high 36 points on 14-of-27 shooting.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had a more balanced attack, with six players scoring in double figures. But they were unable to secure the win despite keeping the game close till the final minute.
The Suns are on a four-game winning streak and are on course to end the season with the best record in the league. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers will hope to snap their six-game losing streak. The odds are against the Cavaliers, though, as a number of their players are out for the Tuesday game.
Phoenix Suns vs Cleveland Cavaliers Injury Update
The Phoenix Suns have listed three players in their injury report for this game.
Jae Crowder has a right ankle sprain that will keep him out of the Tuesday game. He has already missed six games since suffering that injury, and he could sit out a few more games to fully recover.
Cameron Payne is a doubtful starter against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has a bruised knee that caused him to miss the game against the OKC Thunder. There’s a good chance that the team could activate him on Tuesday, though.
Meanwhile, Abdel Nader is out indefinitely after undergoing right knee arthroscopy. The 27-year old has not played since March 21, and his status for the season remains uncertain.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have several players in their injury report for this game.
Darius Garland has been ruled out of Tuesday game against the Phoenix Suns with a sprained left ankle. He could not participate in Monday’s practice, and he will now miss a second consecutive game.
Meanwhile, Isaiah Hartenstein will be absent for the fifth straight time. He suffered a concussion on April 25 and has not yet fully recovered. Similarly, Lamar Stevens is also out due to a concussion and will not suit up for a fourth consecutive game.
The next four players sidelined for the Phoenix Suns game are either out for the season. With the season nearly over and the Cleveland Cavaliers virtually out of the playoffs, it makes sense for the quartet to sit out the remaining games.
Dylan Windler is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to address patellar tendinopathy in his left knee. With no timetable for his return, it’s almost certain Windler will miss the rest of the regular season.
Veteran guard Matthew Dellavedova is also likely out for the rest of the season. He is dealing with a neck strain that may be related to the severe concussion he suffered earlier in the season, which has led him to miss more than half of the Cleveland Cavaliers' games.
Meanwhile, Larry Nance Jr. is also expected to sit out the rest of the season after suffering a fractured right thumb. He could be looking at weeks of treatment and rehab whether he undergoes surgery or not.
Taurean Prince is done for the season, too, after undergoing successful arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle. He’s had his ankle issue for weeks but opted for the procedure now that the Cavaliers are no longer in contention for the playoffs.
Phoenix Suns vs Cleveland Cavaliers Predicted Lineups
Torrey Craig has taken Crowder’s starting forward position in the past few games and will likely do so again for the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. If Payne misses the Cleveland Cavaliers game, Jevon Carter will play extra minutes as Chris Paul’s backup at point.
With so many players out, the Cleveland Cavaliers will try to make do with what they have. Nevertheless, they are reportedly planning to sign former Cavaliers big man Anderson Varejao as their reserve at power forward/center, with Prince and Hartenstein out.
Until Varejao signs, Dean Wade and Mfiondu Kabengele will play backup minutes in the frontcourt.
The Cavs’ backcourt issues could be addressed by coach JB Bickerstaff by giving more playing time to reserves Damyean Dotson and Brodrick Thomas against the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix Suns vs Cleveland Cavaliers Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Chris Paul l Shooting Guard - Devin Booker l Small Forward - Mikal Bridges l Power Forward - Torrey Craig l Center - Deandre Ayton.
Point Guard - Collin Sexton l Shooting Guard - Isaac Okoro l Small Forward - Cedi Osman l Power Forward - Kevin Love l Center - Jarrett Allen.