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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cavs vs. Jazz, Game 41

UTAH JAZZ (22-17) 97, CAVS (30-11) 96
at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City

WHAT HAPPENED: Jazz guard Sundiata's 3-pointer at the buzzer shocked the Cavs.

The Jazz are 8-0 at home vs. Eastern Conference opponents this season. But the Cavs have no one to blame but themselves after falling to 2-2 on the five-game West Coast trip.

They might have recorded their worst quarter of the season in the third when they were outscored, 15-13. They weren't much better for much of the fourth, either.

When forward LeBron James went on one of his patented runs in the fourth, it was fun to watch.

He finished with 36 points, including 20 in the fourth quarter.

James fueled a 20-2 run in the fourth. The Cavs had a six-point lead with 32 seconds remaining before things fell apart.

They missed three free throws in the last 22 seconds, two by guard Anthony Parker. Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas split two free throws with 5.6 seconds left, which left the door open for Gaines.

Gaines made his first career 3 and is playing on a 10-day contract. Most of the fans watching the game - and maybe some of the Cavs - probably didn't know who he was.

James took over the game in the fourth, but failed to finish the job. Why he wasn't taking some of the free throws down the stretch is baffling.

For the Cavs (30-11) to allow the Jazz to come back is inexcusable.

Furthermore, Jazz starters Deron Williams (wrist) and forward Andrei Kirilenko (knee) were knocked out of the game with injuries. It didn't prevent the Jazz from scrapping and playing harder than the Cavs for long stretches of the game.

The Cavs conclude the West Coast trip on Saturday at the Staples Center against the Los Angeles Clippers.

NOTES: James owns the second-highest individual scoring average all-time against the Jazz at 30.2 points per game, trailing only Michael Jordan (32.7).

-- Cavs center Shaquille O'Neal had scored in double figures in 10 consecutive games before he managed just five points against the Jazz. He was in foul trouble and made just 2 of 4 from the field.

SF LeBron James vs. Andrei Kirilenko
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Carlos Boozer
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Mehmet Okur
SG Anthony Parker vs. Ronnie Brewer
PG Mo Williams vs. Deron Williams
Cavs - F Leon Powe (left knee surgery) and F Jamario Moon (abdominal strain) are out.
Derrick Stafford, Leon Wood, Sean Wright


Blogger MC Welk said...

Kirilenko starting for Miles.

January 14, 2010 at 3:56 PM 

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