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The Roundup—Jazz catch fire in second half, beat Cavs by 26
Friday night was a reunion of sorts as the Jazz came alive in the second half to blow out the Cavaliers 117-91 in a game featuring several familiar faces.
Former Jazz guards Rodney Hood and Alec Burks suited up for the Cavs, while Jazz guard Kyle Korver and forward Jae Crowder returned to the arena they called home for portions of the past three seasons. Utah acquired Crowder for Hood on February 8, 2018, and Korver in return for Burks on November 29.
"It was fun. We were competitive and had fun with each other," Utah's Donovan Mitchell said. "Those two, AB and Rodney, those are my guys. And for Kyle and Jae to come back and get a warm reception was pretty special. Getting a win was special as well."
Mitchell was on his game for the Jazz (19-20), scoring a team-high 18 points on an efficient 7-for-12 shooting. He also dished out five assists. The second-year guard was the catalyst in two game-changing runs at the end of the second and third quarters that swung the momentum Utah's way.
Crowder added 16 points off the bench, while Ricky Rubio had 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting. Rudy Gobert didn't miss a shot, shooting 4-for-4 from both the field and the free-throw line for 12 points. He added seven rebounds and five blocks in 31 minutes.
Joe Ingles (12 points, nine rebounds), Danté Exum (11 points, seven assists), Derrick Favors (10 points) and Korver (10 points) also scored in double figures in the win.
Burks led the Cavs (8-31) in scoring with 17 points off the bench, while Hood scored 12 points on 3-for-6 shooting.
Utah blitzed Cleveland with a total team effort as eight Jazz players scored in double figures, three made at least three 3-pointers, and the team finished with 28 assists. The Jazz shot the ball well across the board—51.2 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from 3-point range, and 86.4 percent from the free-throw line.
Hood converted a three-point play to put Cleveland up by nine with 3:08 left in the second quarter, but the Jazz responded with a 12-4 run to cut the margin to one at halftime. Mitchell scored seven of those points—on two mid-range buckets and a 3-pointer—while Rubio added a three of his own.
Donovan with 9 points in the final minutes of the halfpic.twitter.com/kF1wAGEv6u— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 5, 2019
The Jazz kept rolling in the second half, closing the third quarter on a 20-7 run to take a 10-point lead into the final period. Exum and Mitchell scored at the rim, and then threes by Crowder and Mitchell—plus three free throws by Korver—pushed Utah's lead into double digits.
the smile for the former teammatepic.twitter.com/WjTRTiATqL— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 5, 2019
Utah put the game away with a 17-4 run early in the fourth quarter. Crowder put in a layup and hit two threes, Favors added a dunk and three-point play, and Ingles put in a scooping layup.
That force-a-quick-timeout feelingpic.twitter.com/LVfOpSKTEp— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 5, 2019
Favors teachespic.twitter.com/TTBBD4ffOE— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 5, 2019
The Jazz dished out 28 assists, with four players finishing with at least five. Exum led the way with seven, while Rubio, Mitchell and Ingles had five each.
Utah caught fire in the second half, shooting 24-for-43 (55.8 percent) from the field, including 9-for-18 from 3-point range, and outscoring Cleveland 69-42.
The Jazz outrebounded the Cavs 47-39 and outscored them 17-6 in second-chance points.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"We stopped fouling in the third quarter. We don't need to foul when guys are driving into Rudy and Derrick. We focused on making the right play defensively, and that turns into some good opportunities on the offensive end—and guys made some shots. It's good to see the ball go in the basket. We all felt that way in the second half."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
The Cavaliers have now lost eight straight games. ... The Jazz committed 11 turnovers, which led to only 10 Cleveland points. Utah scored 22 points off of Cleveland's 13 turnovers. ... Collin Sexton, the No. 8 overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, turned 20 on Friday. He finished with 13 points on 3-for-13 shooting for the Cavs. ... All-Star center Kevin Love (foot) remains out for Cleveland. He hasn't played since October 24. ... Utah outscored Cleveland 12-5 in transition.
The Jazz will continue their road trip Saturday night in Detroit against the Pistons. Tipoff is set for 5pm MT.