CLEVELAND: He played 11 seasons in the NBA without an All-Star appearance. It only took Tyronn Lue three games as a head coach to get there.
LeBron James had 21 points and nine assists and Kevin Love had 21 points and 11 rebounds in the Cavaliers’ 115-93 victory Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns. The win means the Cavaliers coaching staff will represent the Eastern Conference at the Feb. 14 All-Star game.
Lue will coach the East despite being named the Cavs coach just last week. He is 2-1 as a head coach, but the Cavs built the best record in the East under former coach David Blatt, who is now ineligible for the role after he was fired last Friday. The team with the best record after Jan. 31 is selected and the Cavs clinched the best mark by the end of the month with Wednesday’s win.
Rookie guard Devin Booker scored 16 points for the Suns, who have lost their last 12 road games and 16 of their last 18 overall.
The Cavs scored the first 12 points of the third quarter to blow the game open. The Suns committed turnovers on four of their first five possessions in the quarter and went scoreless for the first three minutes of the second half, allowing the Cavs to open a 17-point lead. They stretched the lead to 28 in the second half and were never threatened.
J.R. Smith and Kyrie Irving each had two steals in the third and the Suns committed nine turnovers in the third — nearly as many as they committed in the entire first half (10).
Smith scored 18 points and Timofey Mozgov scored 10 off the bench. Irving had eight points, three assists and three turnovers.
P.J. Tucker had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Suns, while Markieff Morris scored 13 points off the bench.
The win capped an emotional day for James, who earlier fired back at his critics who have labeled him a coach killer.
“I think it does suck that people want to throw my name in dirt for no particular reason, because of speculation or whatever the case may be,” James said.
“But you can’t worry about it too much. I got 14 guys here. I got a fan base here and a fan base all over the world that loves what I do and they respect what I do and I can’t worry about a select group of people that want to use their negative energy to take away my positive energy. I can’t allow that to happen.”
James was in a better mood by the end of the night. The scoreboard caught him dancing to the 1980s hit song Super Freak during a timeout late in the game. He had nothing better to do since he didn’t play the fourth quarter of the blowout.
Jason Lloyd can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Cavs blog at www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ.