(The Sports Xchange) – LeBron James and Kyrie Irving celebrated being named Eastern Conference All-Star starters by shining in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 118-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.
James scored 21 points, matched a season-high 15 assists and grabbed nine rebounds to fall just shy of a triple-double as Irving scored 26 points and the Cavs broke out of a rare shooting funk to win for the second time in five games.
The Suns’ Tyson Chandler scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds after missing one game with stomach problems.
Eric Bledsoe scored 22 points and passed for nine assists, while Devin Booker had 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for the Suns, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
The Cavs led by 21 late in the first half and were never really threatened by a Suns team with the worst record in the Western Conference.
Cleveland’s Kevin Love missed the game with a sore back.
Love was considered a game-time decision after he missed the second half of Monday’s blowout loss to Golden State.
He did not believe he would miss any time but he did not participate in contact drills during Wednesday’s practice and then could not make it through Thursday’s morning shootaround.
James Jones started in place of Love and scored 14 points, one shy of his season high.
The Cavs are not yet concerned about Love, believing rest is all he needs. It is the fifth game Love has missed this season and he would seem to be questionable for Saturday’s big home contest against the San Antonio Spurs.
The Cavs broke out of their shooting funk to make 19 three-pointers and shoot 44 percent from deep on Thursday. They only committed 12 turnovers while passing for 29 assists, two shy of their season high.