Jazz At Cavaliers: Game Night
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Welcome to KSL Sports Game Night as the Utah Jazz take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on the sixth stop of what was supposed to be a seven-game road trip.
The team’s matchup with the Washington Wizards has been suspended due to COVID-19 exposure on the Wizards roster.
The Jazz are coming off consecutive wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons, fueled by Donovan Mitchell’s 60 points combined over the last two contests.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are on the second night of back to back after falling to Memphis Grizzlies at home on Monday night.
Follow this page throughout the game for updates on the coaches’ pregame media availabilities, starting lineups, and highlights during the game.
The Cavaliers enter the extremely shorthanded without three of their top four backcourt players. Staters Collin Sexton and Darius Garland will both be out for Cleveland, as will former Jazzman Dante Exum who is expected to miss the next 1-2 months with a calf injury.
Rookie Isaac Okoro and Damyean Dotson started Monday for the Cavaliers, while Yogi Ferrell played 16 minutes fresh off of signing a 10-day contract.
Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff discussed the role Okoro will play defending Donovan Mitchell.
“Isaac is a wonderful defender, and he gets an opportunity to go up against one of the most dynamic guards in our league,” Bickerstaff said. “So it’s going to be a great test for him. He’ll get an opportunity to see what these guys look like firsthand and not just on SportsCenter.”
Meanwhile, the Jazz are having to prepare for a that has played very few minutes together this season. Ferrell was forced to play 16 minutes but scored nine points in his debut.
“Anytime you’ve got a point guard that’s played the position his whole life, they’re able to adapt really quickly,” Snyder said. “There are some similarities around the league between certain things teams run, but it’s really personnel-related his ability to connect with other guys on the court.”
The Jazz will be without Joe Ingles who is missing his second game in the team’s last three outings as he experiences Achilles soreness.
No Andre Drummond to open the game, so he was a late scratch for the Cavaliers. Instead, JaVale McGee gets the start.
Sloppy start for both teams, and the referees. Only two of the three officials are available for tonight’s game.
Cleveland has the best defense in the NBA and they’ve shown it early against the Jazz forcing three turnovers in the first four minutes.
Bojan Bogdanovic has gone back to wearing the brace on his surgically repaired wrist. He wore it against San Antonio and had his best game of the season. Jaz will be happy to see him knock down an early three with the brace on.
Snyder continues to favor Miye Oni over Shaq Harrison as the 10th man in the Jazz rotation. With Ingles out, Oni is getting the emergency guard minutes.
At the end of the first quarter, the Jazz lead the Cavs 22-19.
Jazz shoot 3-9 from three and do’t allow the Cavaliers to connect on any of their for attempts. Clarkson leads the Jazz with 5 points.
This has been an ugly game so far, not unlike the Jazz win against Detroit. It is important to remember that this is by design.
The Cavaliers do not have much offensive talent, especially with as many bodies as they are missing, so making the game ugly is their goal.
The Jazz won games like this early in their rebuild before developing offensive talent.
The Cavaliers are on a mini 5-0 run to trim the Jazz 15 point lead to just 10, 41-31 with 3:32 left in the half.
Cavaliers finally hit their first three of the game 20 minutes into the game. It’s been a defensive battle so far.
The Jazz connected on 7-13 threes in the first quarter, and are 10-22 overall for the game. They won’t lose many games this season when they connect on 18+ threes like they are on pace for tonight.
The Jazz open the third quarter on an 8-1 run and have built 20 point lead over the Cavaliers. This is an important stretch for the Jazz with the road trip coming to an end prematurely, and having only 24 minutes to play with a big lead.
Last season the Miami Heat blew a huge lead to the Jazz in a similar situation heading into the All-Star break. The Jazz have answered the bell well after the half.
The Jazz had built the lead to as big as 28 before a string of hot shooting from the Cavaliers trimmed the lead to just 21.
The team should be able to get some run from their deep bench for most of the fourth quarter if they can close the third quarter strong.
The Jazz won the third quarter 38-23. Shockingly, the Cavs 23 points is their high for any quarter tonight after scoring 18 points in each of the first two periods.
Snyder lets his starters play the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, likely to supplement practice time which is otherwise hard to come by in a shortened season.
Still, with so many games to be played in such little time, any extra risk of an injury feels particularly dangerous, especially with the Jazz up 20+.
With 5:39 left in the game, Snyder is putting in the reserves with the Jazz leading 106-75.
The Jazz bench unit allowed the team to keep their 30 point lead throughout the final half of the fourth quarter, and emerged with a win 117-87.
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