LeBron leads Cavs to eighth straight win
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – LeBron James posted 24 points, a season-high
17 rebounds and nine assists, as the Cleveland Cavaliers continued their hunt
for the Eastern Conference’s top spot with an 82-73 victory over the Utah Jazz
at Quicken Loans Arena.
Sasha Pavlovic scored 21 points for the Cavaliers, who have won a season-high
eight games in a row to keep the conference lead in reach. However, it is the
Pistons who refuse to cooperate. Detroit has won five straight and holds a
two-game lead over Cleveland for the top spot in the Central Division
and the Eastern Conference.
Drew Gooden posted 14 points and 12 boards for Cleveland, which has won six
straight at home and is 26-8 at Quicken Loans Arena this season. The club next
hits the road for a game in Charlotte on Tuesday.
Carlos Boozer, playing in his first game back in Cleveland since leaving
nearly three years ago for more money in Utah, notched 19 points and 14
rebounds for the Jazz, who dropped four straight on a four-game road swing.
Mehmet Okur also scored 19 points and grabbed eight boards, while Deron
Williams added 12 points and seven assists for Utah, which fell to 18-16 on
the road this season and will host Golden State on Tuesday.
Utah attained an early 20-12 advantage after an 8-2 spurt capped by a Boozer
slam with about five minutes left, but Cleveland scored the only two buckets
down the stretch for a 20-17 deficit heading into the second.
The Cavs opened the second on a 10-2 run finished by an Ira Newble layup at
6:59 for a 27-22 lead, but Utah regained control down the stretch. The Jazz
edged a 32-31 halftime advantage.
The Jazz bolstered their lead on an 11-2 burst capped by a pair of Okur free
throws just past the midway point of the third, but Cleveland answered on a
12-5 run down the stretch and James’ free throw in the final minute put the
Cavs ahead 58-56 heading into the fourth.
The Jazz cut their deficit to 77-73 on a Williams layup with 1:44 on the
clock. However Cleveland scored five straight down the stretch to hold off
Utah for the win.
The Cavs have swept the season series with the Jazz the past two seasons, but
fell in defeat to Utah in their other meeting so far this season in
February…The Jazz have lost three straight and five of seven in Cleveland.