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Cleveland extends winning streak to 4 games with 120-95 rout of Suns; Three takeaways


Nance Jr., Hood find rhythm in returns

Even though the fans were filing out of Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavs used the final quarter to give Love, Nance Jr., Hood and Thompson a chance to gel following their extended absences from the lineup.

The time proved to be beneficial.

“Shook the rust off a little bit,” Nance Jr. said. “Love can really see the court, so I’m starting to learn that.”

Love went 2-of-4 for six points and two steals, Nance Jr. worked down low for five points, Hood scored four points and Thompson notched two points and six rebounds in the final 12 minutes. Cleveland now has 10 games remaining in the regular season, leaving the quartet with a big adjustment period over the next 19 days.

“I think it was a good win for us today, a good week for us overall, and it just shows our togetherness out there on the floor,” said Love. “I just can’t stress enough how good it is to have more bodies out there and getting more guys back.”

“Now that we’re starting to get bodies back, it will keep us moving in the right direction,” Drew said. “We really rallied around one another.”

The Cavaliers have done it again, fighting through adversity on their way to a fourth straight victory. Lue, Korver and the fan-favorite Osman are all on the recovery trail back to action, adding to the anticipation of the upcoming postseason.

“We’re just trying to find a way,” said James. “No matter what’s been going on with our season, we’re just trying to find a way. Stay composed, stay even keel, that’s always been my motto. Just continue to try and get better and push the envelop as much as we can. It’s been a really good week for us.”

John Alfes has covered Cleveland sports since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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John Alfes is a senior at John Carroll University, and hails from Westlake, Ohio. His love and passion for the game of baseball originated in 1998, when he played catch with his father at the age of two. A former collegiate pitcher, Alfes currently serves as a Cleveland Cavaliers reporter for AP Radio/Metro Networks and the Cleveland Indians Beat Writer for CBS Sports/Scout Media Network, all while majoring in Communications (focus in Journalism) and English (focus in Professional Writing). He is the Sports Editor for The Carroll News, Sports Director for WJCU 88.7 FM and Senior Writer for the John Carroll Sports Information Department. John is an Eagle Scout and loves his two younger brothers (Conrad and Daniel) and two parents (John and Celeste). You can follow John Alfes on Twitter (@JohnAlfes) or reach him through email (

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