Jazz Pull Away from Wine and Gold
Wrap-Up – Playing the final game of a five-game, nine-day trip, the Cavaliers ran out of steam midway through the third and couldn’t rally in the fourth – falling to the Jazz, 109-98, on Saturday night in Salt Lake City.
After battling the flu earlier in the day, Dion Waiters came off the bench to lead all scorers with 23 points – going 6-for-14 from the floor and 10-of-12 from the stripe. Kyrie Irving didn’t shoot the ball particularly well – going 7-of-20 from the field – but still followed up with 18 points and a game-high nine assists. Tyler Zeller doubled-up with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Tristan Thompson finished with 12 points and 11 boards and CJ Miles netted a dozen points in his return to Salt Lake City.
Turning Point – With 5:42 remaining in the third quarter, Zeller’s jumper makes it 69-60. But Utah went on an 8-1 run, led by a pair of three-point plays – a traditional three-point play by Paul Milsap and a Marvin Williams trey that put Utah ahead by double-figures. They never looked back.
Game Ball – Tyler Zeller – After battling some of the best bigs in the business over the past couple weeks, Zeller’s baptism-by-fire is beginning to pay off. The rookie from North Carolina went 6-of-12 from the floor and five of his game-high 14 boards were off the offensive glass. Zeller also led both squads with three blocked shots in Saturday’s loss.
By the Numbers – 26 … road games played by the Cavaliers already this season, most in the NBA. The schedule balances out for Cleveland in February, when the Wine and Gold have just four games away from The Q.
Quotable – C.J. Miles, on the Cavaliers continuing to come out sluggish after intermission …
“I think we get a little stagnant in the third quarter. In the second half I think we depend too much on us trying to play one-on-one and trying to make the plays, which makes the game harder on ourselves, especially when we’re down.”
Up Next – For perhaps the first time this season, the Cavaliers actually get a break on the schedule. After returning home early Sunday morning, the Wine and Gold doesn’t play again until Tuesday, when they welcome the Celtics to The Q. The Bucks come to town on Friday night before the Cavaliers get back on the road for a Saturday night matchup in Toronto.