Success on West Coast
The annual West Coast trip used to be where the Cavs went and were never heard from again. They'd go west and get smashed and then be forced to pick up the pieces when they got home.
That hasn't been the case in the last few years. They actually go west and win games. They finished a 4-game trip on Saturday by beating the Utah Jazz, 102-97, at EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah is not an easy place to play, but when a team has players like LeBron James (33 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assists) and Mo Williams (25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists), it is able to win anywhere.
Two of the biggest thorns in the Jazz's sides - Williams and shooting guard Sasha Pavlovic - strangely enough were drafted by Utah in 2003. Pavlovic had 13 points, including two free throws with 16 seconds remaining.
He was the Jazz's first-round pick out of Serbia-Montenegro in 2003 - 19th overall - and Williams was their second-rounder from Alabama. He was the 18th pick in the second round.
The Cavs lost their first game on the trip in Los Angeles. The Lakers were on a mission. If the Cavs were at full strength, they might not have beaten the Lakers that night.
But they rebounded and prevailed in the final three games of the trip, including quality wins over Portland and Utah. In between was the buzzer beater over Golden State.