The Cleveland Cavaliers were nothing close to their best on Tuesday night.
The end result? A 100-92 loss to the Utah Jazz.
After an even first 12 minutes, sloppy play saw the Cavs get outscored 27-12 in the second quarter and they trailed 56-41 at the half. Cleveland spent most of the second quarter struggling to find a groove on offense and finished with 11 first half turnovers - about two less than their per game average coming into Tuesday night.
In the third quarter, though, it looked like the Cavs might still be in it. Lead by LeBron James and intensified defensive pressure, Cleveland opened up the second half with a 19-2 run that resulted in a two-point lead. During the third, LeBron scored 13 of his team-high 29 points.
But the Jazz responded and went on a 14-0 run of their own. Gordon Hayward, who lead all scorers with 28 points, scored the first eight points of the run on his own. After three, the Cavs were down by nine.
Utah’s lead was back up to 14 when James checked back in with 8:25 left in the fourth quarter. The Cavs cut the Jazz’s lead down to six with 2:36 to go after an Iman Shumpert dunk, but Rodney Hood hit a three on the Jazz’s next possession. Cleveland didn’t make a field goal the rest of the way.
For the game, the Cavs finished with 16 turnovers, which the Jazz turned into 23 points. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love also combined to shoot 9-32 from the field, including 4-14 from three. As a team, Cleveland shot just 36.5 percent vs. the Jazz’s 48.1 percent.
In his debut, Kyle Korver finished with two points on 1-5 shooting, including two misses from three, in 18 minutes. As expected, he came off the bench.
The Cavs turn around tomorrow to face the Portland Trail Blazers. Tipoff is at 10:30 p.m. in Portland.