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Cavs Overcome Obstacles, Beat Jazz 102-97

Final - 1.24.2009 1 2 3 4 Total
Cleveland Cavaliers 33 14 34 21 102
Utah Jazz 23 26 24 24 97

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I am really starting to love this team.  I mean, I love the Cavs, but I love, love this particular Cavaliers squad.  Overcoming the crowd, the Jazz and officials that seemed to swallow their whistles when the Cavaliers had the basketball, the Wine and Gold finished a 4-game west cost trip by winning 3 straight after getting crushed in LA.

It seemed like two different games.  The Cavs outscored the Jazz 67-47 in the 1st and 3rd quarters only to see the Jazz win the 2nd and 4th quarters 50-35.  It isn;t a coincidence that LeBron James takes his rest to start the 2nd and 4th quarters.  Any doubt that LeBron James isn't the MVP of the Association?  The Cavaliers were +16 with LeBron on the floor, but as has been the case since Delonte West went down, needed big contributions from others to get a big W.

We'll start with Mo Williams, who should have sewn up a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team.  Williams is starting to build a reputation as a 2nd half player.  After starting the game by scoring 5 points on 2-9 shooting in the first half, Mo went 6-11 in the 2nd half, and finished the game with 25 points, 5-11 from distance. 

Another star of the game was Sasha Pavlovic.  Sasha scored 13 points and the Cavs were an incredible +22 when Pavs was on the floor.  He was as crucial as anyone getting this win, and you can see his confidence growing each and every game.

Of course, the King did what he does, 33 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists.  For the final 3 games of the trip, all Cavalier wins, LeBron averaged a triple double - 33 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists - while not actually getting a Trip-W in any of them.  That is what the MVP does, dominate when his team needs someone to take over ballgames.  The Cavaliers could have lost all three of these games but James wouldn't let them. 

The Cavs get some well-deserved rest, returning to the floor Tuesday Night against Sacramento.  We should also get some news about Big Z who should begin practicing with the team this week.  What a welcome sight he will be!