#CavsJazz Game Preview - December 30, 2017

Vivint Smart Home Arena, 8:00 p.m. ET

Game Summary

The Cavaliers (24-11) look to round out the calendar year against the Utah Jazz (15-21) on Saturday evening. Tipoff from the Vivint Smart Home Arena is at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

The Wine & Gold will look to bounce back on Saturday and end a two-game losing streak in hopes of ending 2017 - and their current three-game road trip - on a strong note.

Despite their minor two-game skid, the Cavaliers confidence is still high, especially since they are still tied with the Houston Rockets for the best record since November 11 (19-4).

Their solid play over the past two months can be attributed to the team's ability to move the ball on offense and sink important shots, including those from beyond the arc. In fact, the club has connected on 10-plus treys for a franchise-record 24 consecutive games after they knocked down 12 during Wednesday's loss to the Kings.

The club's ability to hit key buckets at key times has not been the only factor that has contributed to their recent success. From an individual standpoint, a number of Cavaliers have had exceptional performances each and every night.

LeBron James, for example, has excelled at every end of the court this season. He notched another triple-double in Wednesday’s game at Sacramento (16 PTS, 10 REB, 14 AST) for his seventh of the season (second-most in NBA) and 62 in his career. James, who turns 33 on Saturday, has played in six games on his birthday (2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013), averaging 33.5 points on .560 shooting, including .469 (15-32) from beyond the arc, 7.5 rebounds and 6.7 assists in 40.3 minutes.

Kevin Love has also made his mark day in and day out, scoring at least 20 points and knocking down at least three treys in five consecutive games (25.4 PPG, 23-46 3FG). Since Nov. 28 (14 games), he is shooting .480 (48-100) from three-point territory, while averaging 23.7 points and 10.4 rebounds in 29.6 minutes.

Another confidence-booster for the Cavaliers is the fact that they have already topped the Jazz once this month, dropping Utah, 109-100, on December 16. As these two teams round out their season series, the Jazz will aim to avoid getting swept as they rely on a number of rising stars, including rookie guard Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell is second among all rookies with a scoring average of 17.9 while also connecting on 73 treys, leading all first-year players from downtown. The 21-year-old has tallied 14 games with 20-plus points this year, which is also good for first among all rookies.

The Jazz are coming into their matchup with Cleveland on a three-game losing streak with their most recent defeat coming against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. In the 126-101 loss, Utah had six players score in double digits with Rodney Hood leading the way after coming off the bench. Hood notched 26 points as well as three rebounds and five assists while Derrick Favors and Mitchell followed with 17 points a piece. Favors also registered a double-double after snagging 10 boards against GS.


Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, WUAB

Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.


Probable Starters/Status Update*

#81 - Jose Calderon

#5 - JR Smith

#23 - LeBron James

#99 - Jae Crowder

#0 - Kevin Love

#3 - Ricky Rubio

#45 - Donovan Mitchell

#8 - Jonas Jerebko

#2 - Joe Ingles

#15 - Derrick Favors

Status Update: (Cavs) - Isaiah Thomas, (Right hip, Out), Derrick Rose, (Left ankle sprain, Out), Iman Shumpert, (Left knee effusion, Out),

Status Update: (Jazz) - None to report

*Subject to change.


Head-to-Head Matchup

As already stated, the Cavs notched a win in their first contest with the Jazz back on December 16, which was also head coach Tyronn Lue's 100th career win as Cleveland's bench boss. In the victory, the Wine & Gold had 30 assists and shot 42-79 (.532) from the field, 10-22 (.455) from three-point range and 15-17 (.882) from the foul line.

Overall, the Cavaliers are 7-3 in their last 10 meetings against the Jazz, thanks to their impressive effort on the defensive end. In fact, Cleveland has held Utah to an average of 96.7 points on .451 shooting from the field over that 10-game stretch.

Saturday's birthday boy, LeBron James, has had tremendous success against the Jazz over his storied career. In 28 career games against Utah, James is averaging 29.4 points (.518 FG%), 8.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.0 block in 39.4 minutes. His 29.4 ppg against the Jazz is his second-highest scoring average against any NBA team (BOS-29.6).


On Deck

Following Saturday's showdown, the Cavaliers will continue their dual with the West as they battle their fourth-straight Western Conference opponent on January 2 against the Portland Trail Blazers at The Q. Cleveland has won 12-consecutive games at home, their longest home win streak in a single season since the 2014-15 season (18 straight, 1/19/15-4/5/15). Cleveland will then jumpstart their longest road trip of the season the following night when they take on the Boston Celtics for the first of five away games. Tipoff from TD Garden is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. (ET).

FIND SEATS | FULL SCHEDULE

#CavsJazz Postgame: Kevin Love - December 30, 2017

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media following Saturday's loss to the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Cavs at Jazz - December 30, 2017

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

#CavsJazz Postgame: Kevin Love - December 30, 2017

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media following Saturday's loss to the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Dec 30, 2017  |  02:16

#CavsJazz Postgame: Jeff Green - December 30, 2017

Cavaliers forward Jeff Green spoke with the media following Saturday's loss to the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Dec 30, 2017  |  01:53

#CavsJazz Postgame: LeBron James - December 30, 2017

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Saturday's loss to the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Dec 30, 2017  |  03:52

#CavsJazz Postgame: Coach Lue - December 30, 2017

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Saturday's loss to the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Dec 30, 2017  |  03:33

LeBron James Scores 29 at Jazz

LeBron James puts on a show on his 33rd birthday with 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Dec 30, 2017  |  02:05

GAME RECAP: Jazz 104, Cavaliers 101

Donovan Mitchell balled out for the Jazz scoring 29 points and dishing 6 assists in a 104-101 win over the Cavaliers. LeBron James recorded 29 points and 8 rebounds for Cleveland in the loss.
Dec 30, 2017  |  01:45

LBJ with the Tough And-One

LeBron James draws the contact and throws in the tough bucket, plus the foul.
Dec 30, 2017  |  00:11

Green with the Fancy Finish

Jeff Green gets out in transition and steps through the defense for the pretty finish.
Dec 30, 2017  |  00:15

Tristan Says 'Get That Weak Stuff Outta Here'

The Jazz think they have an easy layup but Tristan Thompson tracks down the shot attempt and sends it back.
Dec 30, 2017  |  00:09

LeBron Cans the Fadeaway at the Buzzer

LeBron James sinks the fadeaway jumper as the first half comes to a close.
Dec 30, 2017  |  00:16

Calderon Dimes LBJ

Jose Calderon finds a cutting LeBron James for the easy flush.
Dec 30, 2017  |  00:11

Tristan Skies High for the Finish

Tristan Thompson soars to snatch the alley-oop dish from Dwyane Wade in this Goodyear 'More Driven' highlight.
Dec 30, 2017  |  00:14

DWade Dimes Jeff Green for the Slam

Dwyane Wade finds a cutting Jeff Green for the flush.
Dec 30, 2017  |  00:12

Featured Highlight: DWade Lobs LBJ

Dwyane Wade throws the pretty high-handoff to LeBron James for the monster alley-oop finish.
Dec 30, 2017  |  00:09

LBJ Rocks the Rim

LeBron James wows the crowd with his baseline slam.
Dec 30, 2017  |  00:11

#CavsJazz Shootaround: LeBron James - December 30, 2017

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media prior to Saturday's shootaround at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
Dec 30, 2017  |  07:47

#CavsJazz Shootaround: Coach Lue - December 30, 2017

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media prior to Saturday's shootaround at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
Dec 30, 2017  |  02:35

Practice: Isaiah Thomas - December 29, 2017

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media prior to Friday's practice at St. Helena High School in Napa Valley.
Dec 29, 2017  |  05:56

Practice: LeBron James - December 29, 2017

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media prior to Friday's practice at St. Helena High School in Napa Valley.
Dec 29, 2017  |  05:13