NBA Game Summary - Utah at Cleveland
(Friday, November 16th)
Final Score: Cleveland 99, Utah 94
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - LeBron James continued his early season surge, ripping the Jazz for 40 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists, and caused a key steal late in the game to help the Cleveland Cavaliers down Utah, 99-94.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 17 points and raked in 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who snapped a two-game skid. Sasha Pavlovic added 12 points for Cleveland.
Carlos Boozer scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but coughed up the ball to James at a crucial juncture late in regulation. Deron Williams and Mehmet Okur added 11 points apiece for the Jazz, who saw their five-game win streak come to an end.
The Cavs held a 90-83 lead late in regulation, but the Jazz scored seven straight to tie the game. Williams converted a three-point play, Boozer sank a turnaround jumper, and added two free throws to knot the game at 90-90 with just under a minute left.
Ilgauskas and Boozer traded baskets, and James put the Cavs on top when he drove the lane and drew a foul, making both free throws for a 94-92 lead with 18.7 seconds left.
Williams found Boozer open in the lane on the following possession, guarded by James. Boozer backed James down and went up for the game-tying shot, but James slapped the ball loose with his left hand, and Devin Brown came up with the ball.
"He didn't see me coming weak side and I was able to strip the ball from him," said James. "It was a messed up defensive assignment, he shouldn't have been that open. It's all about covering for your teammates and I was there for them. If you get the ball out of Boozer's hands, then you can strip the ball pretty hard. You definitely can't get the ball out of his hands if he sees you."
Brown missed one-of-two at the line, though, and the Jazz still had a chance.
Williams missed a three from the corner, but Andrei Kirilenko followed up with a lay-in to make it a 95-94 game with 4.6 seconds left. James sank two more free throws to put the Cavs up three with 3.8 seconds left.
Okur missed a turnaround three, though, and James pulled down the rebound, sinking two more free throws to seal the win.
"We had a couple of chances where we didn't finish around the basket. Around the basket, you have to be able to finish or come away with something, when they made a little run at us, we didn't come away with anything," said Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan. "You've got to lay some meat on somebody or have something happen more than we did to get to the line. We had a lot of guys that struggled."
Utah took a 24-19 lead after one quarter of play, and held a 43-39 lead at the break. The Jazz took a 74-68 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Cavs found out Friday that guard Larry Hughes will be sidelined approximately four weeks with a deep bone bruise and soft tissue swelling in his left leg...Cleveland made only 3-of-14 three-pointers...James made 13- of-15 free throws.
11/17 01:46:55 ET