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Phoenix at Cleveland

Hill, Nash combine to lead Suns over reeling Cavs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- The Suns' old man has lost a step, maybe two. But don't let his age fool you.

Grant Hill can still run with the boys.

The 38-year-old scored 27 points, Steve Nash added 15 and 15 assists and the Phoenix Suns won their fourth straight, 106-98 on Wednesday night over the fallen-to-the-bottom Cleveland Cavaliers, who have lost 14 in a row and 24 of their last 25.

Hill followed a 25-point performance in a win at New York on Monday by adding 12 rebounds, finishing 10 of 18 from the field and making all seven free throws in 41 minutes. Not too bad for a guy who has been written off more than once during a 15-year NBA career.

He recently missed two games with a sore knee and ankle, and joked that he wouldn't mind playing a less grueling schedule somewhere.

"Maybe if there's a lockout, I can play in Europe once a week," he cracked. "I might be able to excel over there."

He's still doing fine over here.

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Vince Carter scored just three points for Phoenix, but they came on a huge 3-pointer from the corner with 2:35 left as the Suns, who led by 17 in the third quarter, were barely holding off a furious comeback by the Cavs. Cleveland was only down by five when Carter knocked down the game's biggest shot.

"I'm going to shoot the ball when I'm open," said Carter, who had a season-high 29 in the win over the Knicks. "It doesn't matter either way. I had the shot in the corner and I was going to take it."

Antawn Jamison scored 23 and J.J. Hickson had 16 points and 15 rebounds for Cleveland, winless since Dec. 18 and now an NBA worst 8-33. The Cavs were at least more competitive than during a just completed five-game road trip, when they lost by an average of 26.2 points.

"Something to build on," Jamison said. "But there's no doubt that this is tough."

The Suns, coming off an impressive start to a five-game road trip, came to the right place to keep things going.

Quicken Loans Arena has changed and so have the Cavs, who have rapidly plunged from elite status. Their 14-game slide is the league's longest since Washington lost 16 in a row last March. Cleveland is the first team to post a 1-24 stretch since Miami in 2008, according to STATS LLC, and the Cavs could become the first team to have the league's worst record one season after having its best.

Phoenix led by 13 entering the fourth but fell flat. The Cavs raised their defensive intensity and closed to 93-90 on Jamario Moon's 3-pointer with 6:25 remaining. But Hill hit a clutch jumper just before the 24-second clock expired and Nash's basket made it 97-90.

After Hickson made two free throws, Carter, who missed his first five shots and was unusually passive on offense, drained his 3 to put the Suns ahead 100-92. Nash then put the Cavs away with two free throws and a bucket in the final 2:10.

"Vince certainly hit a big one when we needed one," said Hill, who believes the Suns are beginning to come together following the trade that brought them Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus from Orlando. "I'm starting to get more comfortable with the new guys and my role."

Channing Frye added 18 points and Gortat matched a career high with 16 for the Suns.

Ramon Sessions scored 19 and Daniel Gibson, back after missing five games with an ankle injury, added 16 -- 12 on 3-pointers -- for Cleveland.

Their roster ravaged by injuries, the Cavs got more bad news when they learned starting guard Mo Williams will be sidelined indefinitely with a lingering hip injury. Williams received a cortisone shot and doctors have recommended extended rest.

The team did not put an official timeline on his return. Williams said he'll be out at least "a couple weeks" but will not need surgery. That's one positive for the Cavs, who will play the remainder of the season without center Anderson Varejao (torn ankle tendon) and are still missing guards Anthony Parker (back) and Christian Eyenga (ankle) along with forwards Leon Powe (knee surgery) and Joey Graham (leg).

"We've got a lot of young guys out there," Sessions said. "We just have to build on it. We're professionals and we just have to keep working."

Notes

  • Cleveland hosts Milwaukee on Friday. The team record for consecutive losses is 19.
  • At this point in 2010, the Cavs were 31-11.
  • Gibson was lucky to escape injury after crashing hard into the padded basket stanchion while defending Hill on a breakaway.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Steve Nash drives past Ramon Sessions of the Cavaliers on his way to 15 points and 15 assists.  (Getty Images)
Steve Nash drives past Ramon Sessions of the Cavaliers on his way to 15 points and 15 assists. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Phoenix (19-21) «36262816106
Cleveland (8-33)2821282198
PHO:G. Hill 27 Pts
PHO:G. Hill 12 Reb
PHO:S. Nash 15 Ast
CLE:A. Jamison 23 Pts
CLE:J. Hickson 15 Reb
CLE:R. Sessions 8 Ast
Players of the Game
PhoenixCleveland

Grant Hill

J.J. Hickson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
2712216152

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Phoenix
C. Frye, C427-170-043418
G. Hill, SF4110-187-7122227
S. Nash, PG375-95-5215115
V. Carter, SG351-60-08403
R. Lopez, C114-91-10049
M. Gortat, PF276-104-4120316
J. Dudley, SF201-42-22215
H. Warrick, PF152-70-07124
G. Dragic, PG114-51-20219
M. Pietrus, SGDid Not Play
J. Childress, SFDid Not Play
G. Siler, CDid Not Play
G. Lawal, PFDid Not Play
Z. Dowdell, PGDid Not Play
Totals 40-8520-21472918106
 47.1%95.2% 
Cleveland
A. Jamison, PF399-213-462123
R. Sessions, PG387-155-558419
J. Hickson, PF365-116-7152516
M. Harris, PG293-62-232110
A. Gee, SF201-21-23223
D. Gibson, PG306-130-011416
J. Moon, SF292-90-02115
S. Samuels, PF193-60-04016
A. Parker, SGDid Not Play
M. Williams, PGDid Not Play
A. Varejao, CDid Not Play
J. Graham, SFDid Not Play
R. Hollins, CDid Not Play
L. Powe, PFDid Not Play
C. Eyenga, SGDid Not Play
Totals 36-8317-2039181998
 43.4%85.0% 
Other Games
Utah 95 Final
NJ 103
Phi 98 Final
Orl 99
Det 82 Final
Bos 86
Mem 102 Final
NO 103
Wash 87 Final
Mil 100
NY 89 Final
Hou 104
Tor 95 Final
SA 104
LAL 100 Final
Dal 109
OKC 107 Final
Den 112
Port 94 Final
Sac 90
Ind 108 Final
GS 110
Min 111 Final
LAC 126