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Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Utah Jazz 124-116

A short-handed Cavs team delivered another victory.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Without three of their most important players, the Cleveland Cavaliers did what everyone expected: delivered one of their best offensive performances of the season. Let’s recap their win over the Utah Jazz.

Nightly Notables: Sam “Money” Merrill

Who else?

Sam Merrill has rapidly become a fan favorite in Cleveland. He set a career-high with 19 points against Houston a few days ago. Then, he id it all over again tonight with a 27-point eruption versus the Jazz. Merrill finished 8-14 from downtown.

Cleveland’s injuries have opened the door for a player like Merrill to shine. And boy, is he shining. Merrill is shooting a team-high 45% from the three-point line and is starting to add the volume to match his efficiency.

Caris LeVert deserves a nod here, as well. He poured in 23 points and 7 assists off the bench. His 4-of-7 three-point shooting was crucial to Cleveland’s win.

Well, that happened...

I wasn’t exaggerating when I said this was one of the Cavaliers’ best offensive performances of the season. It was nearly one of the best in franchise history.

The Cavs finished with a total of 23 three-pointers, threatening their single-game record of 25. This record was set back in the 2016 playoffs when they bombarded the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

Cranking up the dial from deep has been a point of emphasis for the Cavaliers this season. They ranked 24th in three-point attempts last season and have since jumped to 16th. The Cavaliers have recorded seven games of 40+ three-point attempts this season — already more than the year before.

Big Picture:

Availability remains a thorn in Cleveland’s side. Donovan Mitchell was a late scratch in this game due to illness while Darius Garland and Evan Mobley will be on the sideline for quite some time.

And yet, the Cavaliers are streaking with three consecutive wins. They have weathered the storm behind some timely performances from players such as Merrill. Tomorrow, they look to keep rolling against the New Orleans Pelicans.