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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Game 43: Jazz at Cavs

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (23-20) 106, UTAH JAZZ (14-28) 92
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

1. This is going to be a fun ride. Just one week after things seemed to be hitting rock bottom, suddenly the Cavs look like world-beaters. LeBron James missed practice on Tuesday with flu-like symptoms. You'd never know it last night, as he finished with 26 points, nine assists and four steals.

2. Reinforcements are on the way in the form of shooting guard Iman Shumpbert. He's expected to play in the Charlotte game. The Cavs didn't want to rush him back. He had a dislocated left shoulder while playing for the Knicks. He was injured on Dec. 12 vs. Boston and hasn't played since. If I'm Coach David Blatt, I'd work him in slowly against the Hornets. For one thing, coaches don't want to mess with a good thing. They're superstitious when their teams are on four-game winning streaks. Secondly, J.R. Smith has been playing very well at shooting guard.

3. Shumpert doesn't offer anything close to Smith offensively. Smith is a sniper, a big-time scorer. He can erupt for 30 points at a drop of a hat. Shumpert earns his paychecks on the defensive end. He can guard point guards, shooting guards and small forwards. The plan is for him to start at the "2" spot. That way, Smith can assume the role of sixth man.

4. The Cavs lost to the Jazz, 102-100, on Nov. 5. After watching last night's game, I'm not sure how this team lost to Utah. 

5. The Cavs have won four of their last five meetings with the Jazz. They are also 9-1 in their last 10 games against Utah at The Q.

6. In their four-game winning streak, the Cavs are averaging 114.3 points and shooting 49.2 percent from the field. When they top the 100-point barrier this season, the Cavs are 11-0 at home and 18-4 overall.

7. The Cavs' starting five all scored 15 or more points in each of the last two games. That's an amazing stat. It doesn't happen very often.

8. LeBron James (582) tied Mark Price for sixth place in games played in a Cavs uniform. Since his return to the lineup, James has averaged 31.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists.

9. Jazz guard Joe Ingles played for Coach David Blatt on Maccabi Tel Aviv, which won the 2013-14 Euroleague championship.

10. The Cavs are off tomorrow. However, it said on the grease board in the locker room, yoga lessons will be at noon tomorrow at Cleveland Clinic Courts. That might have been someone's attempt at humor.

UP NEXT: vs. Charlotte, Quicken Loans Arena, 7:30 p.m. Friday

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Gordon Hayward (6-8, 225)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Derrick Favors (6-10, 262)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Enes Kanter (6-11, 245)
SG J.R. Smith (6-6, 220) vs. Joe Ingles (6-8, 216)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Trey Burke (6-1, 185)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, G Iman Shumpert
Jazz - G Alec Burks, G/F Rodney Hood
Bennett Salvatore, David Jones, C.J. Washington


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