NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 28th (All times Eastern)
Utah Jazz (21-36) at Cleveland Cavaliers (23-36), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a recent slide in style and will try to continue that momentum Friday night when they host the Utah Jazz at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavs had lost three straight heading into Wednesday's matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder in OKC, but left with a 114-104 victory.
Kyrie Irving scored 14 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Cavaliers to the win, which gave the Thunder their first three-game home losing streak since 2009.
Irving also dished out nine assists, while Jarrett Jack and Spencer Hawes tallied 21 and 19 points, respectively. Tristan Thompson chipped in 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavs.
"I thought our pace was really good offensively. One of the things that we keep preaching to our guys is 'push the ball, push the ball, push the ball,'" said Cavs coach Mike Brown.
Cleveland won all of the vital statistical battles against one of the NBA's best. The Cavs owned a 41-40 edge on the glass, went 23-for-24 from the free throw line, scored 21 points on 20 OKC turnovers and had a 44-32 advantage in the paint.
The Jazz begin a six-game eastern trip Friday which sees them visiting the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers.
Utah hits the road on a two-game winning streak as it dispatched the Boston Celtics on Monday, then handled the playoff-bound Phoenix Suns, 109-86 at home on Wednesday.
Gordon Hayward and Richard Jefferson led seven Utah scorers in double digits with 17 points apiece and the Jazz rolled over the shorthanded Suns, who were without leading scorer Goran Dragic.
Hayward had 10 rebounds and finished one assist short of a triple-double for the Jazz, who have won two in a row on the heels of a three-game losing streak.
Derrick Favors, Diante Garrett and Alec Burks each scored 15 points in the win, Jeremy Evans had 11 and Trey Burke scored 10.
"We're going on a long road trip against some good teams so it was important to get this win," said Favors. "Hopefully we come out of the trip with a winning record."
The Jazz are just 7-20 on the road this season, which is the worst mark in the Western Conference.
The Cavs beat the Jazz by 11 in Salt Lake City on Jan. 10 to own a two-game winning streak in the series. Utah has dropped seven of its last nine in Cleveland.
02/28 10:31:56 ET