Game 61: Jazz at Cavs
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The ending was a complete blur for the Cavs. They had no business winning this game. They were trailing by 12 points with 7:26 to play.
How did it happen? Their defense stiffened. The Jazz completely fell apart. They committed several unforced errors (they had five turnovers in the fourth). And, Coach Byron Scott finally realized he had C.J. Miles on his team.
Miles, who played seven years for the Jazz, has the kind of firepower a team needs to come back in a game like this. He started the fourth and had 12 points - all in the final quarter.
Kyrie Irving also did some of his magic with 11 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth.
When Mo Williams' layup rolled in and out with 4.9 seconds left - a shot that would have given the Jazz the lead - I knew the Cavs were going to win. Pretty astute, huh?
The Jazz are not going to hold off the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference. Utah was sixth in the West as early as a week or 10 days ago. They are now eighth and dropping. The Lakers came back from like a 30-point deficit in New Orleans on Wednesday. The Lakers are just 1 1/2 games behind Utah with 21 games to play.
Remember, you want to root for the Lakers to make the playoffs so they can send their first-round pick to the Cavs.
The Jazz played without injured starting center Al Jefferson. He would have made a difference, but the Cavs were without starting shooting guard Dion Waiters. He's been ailing with the flu-like sickness that has stricken the Cavs.
Cavs center Tyler Zeller started against Utah. He had three points, four rebounds and three blocks in 23 minutes. It's a wonder he made it that long. He was flat on his back on Sunday.
The Cavs snapped a six-game losing streak to the Jazz.
The Cavs lost at Utah on Jan. 19, 109-98.
This is a big game for Miles, who played in Utah for seven seasons before signing with the Cavs in free agency. He's now scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games. He's definitely a keeper for next year.
NEWS FEED: Bill Oram's story in the Salt Lake Tribune about Jazz guard Mo Williams' possible return on Wednesday.
LAST GAME: The Cavs lost to the New York Knicks on Monday, 102-97.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. DeMarre Carroll (6-8, 225)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Paul Millsap (6-8, 258)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. Derrick Favors (6-10, 263)
SG Wayne Ellington (6-4, 200) vs. Randy Foye (6-4, 220)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Mo Williams (6-1, 186)
Cavs – C Anderson Varejao
Jazz - G Raja Bell, C Al Jefferson
Tom Washington, Sean Corbin, Tre Maddox