After winning three straight games on the road, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers travelled to Utah to play a Jazz team that was missing their best player, Gordon Hayward. James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love combined for 50 points, but it wasn’t enough to put away the Utah Jazz, who are fighting for a spot in the NBA Playoffs.
Despite a 66-66 tie at the end of the third quarter, the Jazz outscored the Cavs in the fourth quarter 28-19 to beat Cleveland and LeBron at the Vivint Smart Home Arena for the second year in a row. Utah went on a 16-2 run during part of the fourth quarter, as noted by ESPN, including 10 points from Trey Lyles. Later in the game, Lyles and Cleveland’s Channing Frye were ejected after a physical altercation resulted in a double technical.
LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 12 rebounds, 23 points, and 37 minutes of play. Along with three assists, King James shot 50 percent from the field and went 2-for-6 from three-point range.
King James best career dunks‼️ ???? https://t.co/9JkKrmKdvs— LeBron James ☄ (@LeBronJames) March 14, 2016
Considering the low-scoring game, Kyrie Irving’s contribution of 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists was significant. His shooting was off, however, logging a field goal percentage at just over 30 percent and shot a disappointing 1-for-9 from downtown. He was the only player to log two steals in the game and the only Cavalier with a blocked shot.
The third leg of Cleveland’s Big Three, Kevin Love was good for 12 points and nine rebounds, while being the only player on Cleveland’s roster to both shoot and make two free throws against Utah on Monday night. Matthew Dellavedova led the Cavs with five assists.
Utah Jazz shooting guard Rodney Hood did the most damage of the game, registering a game-high 28 points, which included a game-high four three-pointers. Point guard Shelvin Mack had a game-high 10 assists in addition to 17 points and seven boards. Rudy Gobert had eleven rebounds and Derrick Favors was good for 19 points and three blocked shots.
You're gonna want to watch these Jazz-Cavs highlights ????https://t.co/IszQqJ1cPN— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 15, 2016
With the win on Monday Night, the Utah Jazz are now two games out of playoff contention. They trail both the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets at the seventh and eighth spots and trail the sixth-place Portland Blazers by just 2.5 games. Now on a three-game winning streak, they host the 18-49 Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.
While it’s never a good time to lose a game, the Cleveland Cavaliers just happened to do so on the same night that the NBA Eastern Conference’s second-place Toronto Raptors lost to the Chicago Bulls. With a record of 47-19, the Cavs continue to lead their Conference by 2.5 games.
The loss to Utah put an end to Cleveland’s three-game winning streak. After a four-game road trip, the Cavaliers return home to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland as they host the Dallas Mavericks (34-33) on Wednesday. Coverage of Wednesday’s game will begin at 7 p.m. EST and will air on regional affiliate FOX Sports Ohio. While the Cavaliers will be fighting to stay on top of the Eastern Conference, the Mavericks are fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive.
[Photo by Gene Sweeney, Jr./Getty Images]