Jazz Look To Extend Win Streak To Three Against Cavaliers
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz are looking to extend their two-game winning streak when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday. The Jazz are coming off back to back wins against the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons on stops four and five on their seven-game road trip.
The Cavaliers meanwhile are off to a surprisingly hot start through 10 games. Cleveland entered Monday night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies with an even .500 record. The Cavaliers were tied for the second-fewest wins in the NBA last season at 19-45 when play was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Jazz had Monday off in Cleveland after Sunday’s afternoon win in Detroit allowed them to fly into the city a day ahead of the game. The Cavaliers meanwhile hosted the Grizzlies at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Jazz Looking To Lock Up Winning Record On Road Trip
The Jazz can guarantee themselves a winning record on their seven-game road trip with a win over the Cavaliers. After opening the trip with a win against the San Antonio Spurs, the Jazz dropped consecutive games to the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks.
The Jazz then followed their consecutive losses with wins over Milwaukee and Detroit.
The team’s play has varied widely throughout the first five games of the trip with red hot shooting performances against the Spurs and Bucks, bookending disastrous stretches against the Nets and Knicks.
The Jazz experienced both highs and lows against the Pistons on Sunday scoring 34 points in the opening quarter while shooting 58 percent from the floor and 50 percent from three. The team then failed to score more than 23 points in any of the final three quarters and saw their shooting percentages drop to 42 percent from the floor and 31 percent from three for the game.
Cavaliers Looking To Get Back On Track
The Cavaliers opened the season with a perfect 3-0 record before dropping five of their last seven outings entering Monday night’s game against the Grizzlies.
The team’s 5-5 record is fitting considering the balance between the Cavaliers’ offensive and defensive rating.
The Cavs entered Monday night’s game with the worst offensive rating in the NBA at 101.2 points per 100 possessions. On the flip side, they lead the league in defensive rating allowing just 103.1 points by their opponents.
Cleveland’s defense has found a spark in rookie guard Isaac Okoro. Okoro moved into the team’s starting lineup after former Jazzman Dante Exum was injured against the Orlando Magic last week. Exum was diagnosed with a calf strain and will be sidelined for at least the next month.
Guard Darius Garland has missed the last week for the Cavaliers with a shoulder strain. Fellow backcourt starter Collin Sexton will miss the game with an ankle injury.
The key matchup between will pit Jazz center Rudy Gobert against Cavaliers center Andre Drummond.
Drummond is off to a terrific start to the season averaging a career-high 17.9 points per game while leading the league in rebounds at 15.2 per contest. Despite his improved scoring numbers, the big man is shooting a career-low 46 percent from the floor. Drummond is listed as questionable entering the game.
Gobert meanwhile 12.4 points and a career-high 13.7 rebounds this season for the Jazz. The center is coming off the worst shooting game of his season after connecting on just 1-5 field goal attempts against Detroit.
Gobert is also shooting just 50 percent from the free-throw for the season after shooting 63 percent or better each of the last four seasons.
The Jazz have dominated Drummond-led teams with Gobert in the lineup. The Jazz are 10-3 in 13 meetings between the two centers with Gobert averaging 10 points and 11.1 rebounds. Drummond has averaged 13.2 points and 12.8 rebounds in the 13 games.
The Jazz and Cavaliers tip-off at 5:30 pm MST. The game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.
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