Following a painfully difficulty eight-game layoff, LeBron James was back in uniform Tuesday night in Phoenix.
James’ strong play — 33 points, 7 rebounds and five dimes — wasn’t enough to halt the Cleveland Cavaliers’ losing ways, as they fell 107-100.
One particularly notable moment from the game came in the second quarter, as LeBron shoved head coach David Blatt from a referee to prevent him from getting a technical foul.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal:
The Cavs fell to 19-20, under .500 for the first time since Nov. 24. They have 44 games left to rediscover their rhythm. […] “We were in pretty good shape, obviously we’re going through a tough period missing so many guys, guys getting hurt and new guys coming in,” Blatt said. “That put us not in an ideal situation, but there is plenty of time to get our team where we want it to be, where it was before and better with the additions we’ve had.”
The Suns began the night with a whopping 37 technicals, forcing coach Jeff Hornacek to implement a new rule: any player who gets a technical will be benched for the rest of the night. Markieff Morris began the night tied with Russell Westbrook for the most technicals in the league with nine, Eric Bledsoe had seven and Marcus Morris had five. Even Hornacek has been whistled for three of them.
“Sometimes they get emotional, but we tell them they’ve got to control it,” Hornacek said. “We had a talk awhile ago and we went six or seven games with no technicals, then they started up again. We just need to keep reminding them.”