Finished EnergySolutions Arena Salt Lake City
The Cleveland Cavaliers blew a 20-point, second-half lead against the Phoenix Suns before prevailing for a victory and the close call serves as a reminder that they will face a test from the host Utah Jazz on Tuesday. Cleveland held on for a 120-116 victory over the Suns on Sunday in the second contest of a six-game road trip that prompted mixed emotions from coach Tyronn Lue and star forward LeBron James.
Lue said his team "messed around" after playing the right way to build the big lead while James chose to view it as the type of thing that happens during an 82-game season. "We're a veteran ballclub that can take what we see on the film and implement it into a game," James told reporters. "We still go through things at our shootarounds and things of that nature of what we need to do (on) coverage and things of that nature, but we're able to look at things on the fly and make it happen being a veteran ballclub and guys having the experience." Utah dropped three of its last four games, including an 88-79 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. The Jazz are beginning a three-game homestand as part of a home-heavy stretch in which they play nine of 12 at home.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cleveland), ROOT (Utah)
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (28-8): New acquisition Kyle Korver was unable to practice with Cleveland on Monday because swingman Mike Dunleavy still hasn't reported to Atlanta. But there is speculation that Dunleavy may report by Tuesday afternoon and if he does do so and passes his physical, the trade will become official and Korver will be able to play with his new teammates. Korver was coveted to boost the Cavaliers' 3-point shooting as the team has been missing an outside threat since shooting guard J.R. Smith suffered a broken thumb.
ABOUT THE JAZZ (23-16): Center Rudy Gobert developed into a rebounding dynamo by collecting 13 or more in each of the past seven games and setting a franchise mark of 24 consecutive double-digit outings. The 7-1 Gobert also recorded three or more blocked shots in four of the past six games and leads the NBA with a total of 100. Gobert has an outside chance of making the Western Conference All-Star team but it appears small forward Gordon Hayward (averaging 22 points) has the better chance of representing Utah.
1. The Cavaliers won five of the past seven meetings.
2. Cleveland PG Kyrie Irving averaged 29.5 points over the last two games and appears to be over his recent hamstring woes.
3. Utah demoted PG Dante Exum -- the fifth overall pick in 2014 -- to its locally based D-League franchise.
PREDICTION: Cavaliers 100, Jazz 94
National Basketball Association , basketball
|LeBron James||Position: Forward (F) |
|Kevin Love||Position: Forward (F) |
|Tristan Thompson||Position: Center (C) |
|DeAndre Liggins||Position: Guard (G) |
|Kyrie Irving||Position: Guard (G) |
|Derrick Favors||Position: Forward (F) |
|Gordon Hayward||Position: Forward (F) |
|Rudy Gobert||Position: Center (C) |
|Rodney Hood||Position: Guard (G) |
|George Hill||Position: Guard (G) |