Notebook: Cavaliers 104, Jazz 101



Posted Mar 6, 2013 11:35 PM

By Brian Dulik, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Point guard Kyrie Irving scored 11 of his team-high 20 points in the final 4:21, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 104-101 victory over the Utah Jazz Wednesday night. Cleveland (21-40) trailed 88-76 with 7:07 left, but outscored visiting Utah 28-13 the rest of the way. Power forward Tristan Thompson added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers, while small forward Alonzo Gee had 15 points. Small forward Gordon Hayward scored a game-high 25 points for the Jazz (32-29), which also got 17 points from center Enes Kanter. Utah had won its previous six games against Cleveland, but squandered a 14-point lead in the second half.

QUOTABLE: "Merry Christmas to us. We got lucky. That was a gift, basically. With 15 minutes left, I told them, 'Right now, you're showing no interest in this game. You better start playing because you've still got a chance to win.'"

-- Cavaliers coach Byron Scott

THE STAT: Cavaliers shooting guard C.J. Miles scored all 12 of his points in a six-minute span early in the fourth quarter, including two long 3-pointers that ignited the comeback. "Guys look for me when I start to get rolling, and it's my job to bring the spark and the energy off the bench," said Miles, who played eight uneventful minutes over the first three periods. "As long as we give ourselves a chance to win, things like this can happen." Miles spent his first seven NBA seasons with the Jazz before signing with Cleveland as a free agent last summer.

TURNING POINT: The Jazz led 101-95 with 1:41 left before the Cavaliers scored nine straight points to end the game. Irving accounted for the first five, then stole the ball from Hayward and fed shooting guard Wayne Ellington for the go-ahead dunk with 57 seconds on the clock. Ellington's slam put Cleveland ahead 102-101, which held up when Jazz point guard Mo Williams missed a fast-break layup with four seconds left. Williams' layup rolled completely around the inside of the rim before falling off, allowing Ellington to put the win on ice with two free throws.

QUOTABLE II: "That was amazing. I don't think I've ever missed a layup, even in practice. I've shot a trillion layups in my life. I've never missed one like that, the way it went in and came out. It was a normal layup. I'm dumbfounded."

-- Jazz point guard Mo Williams

HOT: Cavaliers center Marreese Speights collected 14 points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench. ... Cleveland blocked a season-high 12 shots with Thompson and center Tyler Zeller leading the way with three apiece. ... Irving had a game-high 10 assists and a season-best seven boards. ... Miles is averaging 12.4 points over his last nine games. ... Jazz center Derrick Favors collected six points, 12 rebounds and four rejections. ... Hayward, who scored 15 points in the second quarter, also dished out a season-high seven assists.

NOT: Jazz small forward Marvin Williams failed to score in 14 minutes after being removed from the lineup in favor of DeMarre Carroll. ... Carroll started, but only logged four points and one rebound in 14 minutes. ... Utah shooting guard Randy Foye missed all six of his field goal attempts in the first, second and fourth quarters. ... Williams committed a game-high four turnovers. ... The Cavaliers own the fourth-worst home record in the NBA at 12-18. ... Zeller, who is recovering from the flu, only had three points on 1-for-5 shooting in 23 minutes.

QUOTABLE III: "We did, absolutely we did [steal this win]. But the one thing I can say is we did get stops at the end. I've got to be a leader out there, and it starts on the defensive end. Now that I'm preaching it, I've got to do it."

-- Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving

GOOD MOVE: Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin gave Williams the start in his first game since Dec. 22, allowing him to receive a nice ovation from the crowd. The former Cavaliers fan favorite scored five quick points and worked off all of his court rust early. Williams wound up with eight points, three rebounds and six assists in 27 minutes, while backup Earl Watson did not score in seven minutes. Williams sat out 32 straight contests after undergoing right thumb surgery on Jan. 4.

BAD MOVE: Kanter was the best big man on the floor all night, but Corbin removed him for good with exactly 8:00 remaining. The second-year pro from Turkey shot 8-for-11 and grabbed seven rebounds in 21 active minutes off the bench. ... With Utah trailing 102-101 with 35 seconds left, Foye stepped out of bounds while driving to the hoop for a turnover. "We have to make smarter decisions and close ballgames," Corbin said. "We need to understand the sense of urgency."

NOTABLE: Cavaliers power forward Luke Walton didn't pull any punches after the come-from-behind win, saying, "I don't like to call it lucky, but this was definitely one we stole." ... Jazz center Al Jefferson (left ankle sprain) missed his third straight game, but Corbin said he was "getting better. When he's ready to go, we'll make the call to get him back in there." ... Cavaliers shooting guards Dion Waiters (flu) and Daniel Gibson (flu) were not in uniform, leaving them with just 10 active players. Also out for Cleveland were small forward Omri Casspi (appendectomy) and center Anderson Varejao (season-ending right knee surgery).

UP NEXT: For the Jazz, Friday @ Chicago, Saturday @ New York, Monday vs. Detroit. For the Cavaliers, Friday vs. Memphis, Sunday @ Toronto, Tuesday vs. Washington.