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Suns 107, Cavaliers 100

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Updated 10 months ago on
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PHOENIX — Phoenix forward Markieff Morris had a career-high 35 points and the Suns spoiled Cleveland forward LeBron James’ return to action with a 107-100 victory over the Cavaliers at US Airways Center on Tuesday.

James had 33 points, seven rebounds and five assists in his first game of 2015 after missing eight games with knee and back injuries.

James gave the Cavs (19-20) a 97-96 lead with 3:50 remaining before the Suns finished the game on an 11-3 run.

Suns forward P.J. Tucker made four free throws in the final 27 seconds after James’ 3-point play made it 103-100 with 51.1 seconds remaining.

Guard Goran Dragic had 18 points and center Alex Len had his second straight double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Suns (23-18) broke a two-game losing streak.

Guard J.R. Smith had a season-high 29 points and made 8 of 14 3-point field goals in his fourth game with the Cavaliers since being acquired from the New York Knicks on Jan. 5.

Cleveland trailed by 19, 80-61, when forward Brandan Wright made one free throw with 3:29 remaining in the third period before James and Smith led the Cleveland comeback.

The Cavs have lost six in a row and nine of their last 10.

Cavs center Kevin Love, the principal defender on Morris, scored nine points and had nine rebounds in 26 minutes.

James made one of two free throws with 6:18 remaining in the first quarter to give Cleveland an 11-10 lead, its only lead until the fourth quarter.

Morris hit two 3-pointers and scored eight straight points as the Suns went up 31-24 after one quarter.

James took an inadvertent elbow to the head from Suns forward P.J. Tucker, who was called for a foul with 9:12 remaining in the first half. After a timeout, James remained in the game.

On the next possession, James was called for an offensive foul as he attempted to work through Tucker toward the basket, and James restrained Cavs coach David Blatt from confronting the official who made the call.

Smith made five 3-pointers in the third period, including one on a steal with two seconds remaining, as the Cavs finished on a 10-0 run to close to 85-79.

NOTES: LeBron James, who missed eight games, has enjoyed success in his career against the Suns. “Obviously we’re happy to have him back,” Cavs coach David Blatt said. James averages 29.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.1 assists in 21 career games against Phoenix. … The Suns began a franchise-long eight-game homestand Tuesday. They have had three seven-game homestands. … F Brandan Wright made his home debut for the Suns on Tuesday after being acquired from Boston for a conditional draft pick Friday. Wright, 6-foot-10, had seven points in 15 minutes at Memphis in his first Suns game Sunday. Wright is averaging 72.5 percent shooting from the field. … Cleveland F Kevin Love, who has a $16.7 million contract option for 2015-16, told the Northeast Ohio Media group, “I think that we will figure it out here, so I don’t plan on opting out or any of that. I plan on being here.” Love was the fastest player in NBA history to record 4,000 rebounds and 500 3-pointers, doing it in 401 games after hitting three threes at Sacramento on Sunday. Antoine Walker did it 448 games, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

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