This is going to be a quick one, so apologies. The Cleveland Cavaliers dug deep and beat the Utah Jazz at home on Thursday night behind an MVP caliber LeBron James performance. The Jazz were playing on the second night of a back to back, but played with their trademark defensive toughness. Neither side had a ton of success offensively, but only one team had James.
Your Cleveland Cavaliers, 91. The Utah Jazz, 83.
While the Jazz aren’t known for being a high-scoring team, they have playmakers and shooters and skill. The Cavs defended well for most of the game, and were ultimately rewarded for it. Rudy Gobert was a monster, with 20 points and 19 rebounds, but no other Jazz starter shot 50% from the field.
The game was tied going into the fourth quarter when LeBron James put the team on his back. Kyrie Irving never came into the game in the final quarter, exiting with knee tightness. Coach Tyronn Lue said after the game that it doesn’t appear to be serious. In his absence LeBron James did it all, and finished with 33 points on 20 shots, 10 rebounds, and six assists. He accounted for six turnovers as well, but the Cavs were able to survive them. J.R. Smith also had some positive moments in the fourth quarter, hitting a three pointer with just over a minute left to give the Cavs a six point lead.
The Cavs now head to Los Angeles where they will have a back to back Saturday and Sunday with the Lakers and Clippers before heading to Denver. We will keep you updated on Irving, and also Iman Shumpert who left tonight’s game with a shoulder injury.