LeBron James’ Late Charge Muscles Cavs Past Jazz For Seventh Straight Win
LeBron James scored 17 of his season-high 31 points in the fourth quarter as the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied to a 118-114 victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. It was the Cavs’ seventh straight victory after dropping the season-opener to Chicago Bulls.Advertisement
LeBron’s late surge sparked a 21-5 final run as the Cavaliers erased a nine-point deficit against a feisty Utah Jazz outfit. The Jazz competed tooth-and-nail against the reigning Eastern Conference Champions, out-scoring the Cavs in the second and third quarters before running into LeBron (watch video highlights below).
Midway through the fourth, the Jazz were in control of the game, leading 95-86, before James took over and brought the Quicken Loans crowd to its feet with a series of trademark plays. “I felt like the team needed it,” LeBron told reporters about his fourth-quarter play. “They pushed us to the brink. Trying to make a push, see if we could change the momentum.”
David Blatt, the Cavaliers coach, heaped praise on his superstar player. “Bron is the greatest player in the game. I don’t think there’s anyone with a higher basketball IQ or a better understanding of the moment.”
Blatt acknowledged that his team struggled because James had only seven points in the first half. “First half he (LeBron) wasn’t as engaged as we would’ve liked him to be or as engaged as he normally would be,” said Blatt. “He took over the game and lifted the rest of the guys with him. He did the things that a great player like him, only he can do.”
James was ably supported by Mo Williams (29 points, 6 assists) and Kevin Love (22 points, 8 rebounds).
For the Jazz, Alec Burks led the way with 24 points while Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors added 17 points apiece. Rudy Gobert played some trademark defense in the paint area.
The Cavs will now travel to New York for a showdown with the Knicks on Friday.