UTAH JAZZ

Lauri Markkanen Abuses Cavs In Post For And-One Basket

Jan 10, 2023, 8:43 PM

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Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (photo: Utah Jazz)

(photo: Utah Jazz)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Finnisher proved too strong, lowering his shoulder and muscling his way to the basket, earning a hoop and a foul for his troubles.

The struggling Jazz (20-23) hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers (26-15) and former Utah star Donovan Mitchell at Vivint Arena on Tuesday, January 10.

The Jazz All-Star hopeful sized Cleveland’s Lamar Stevens from the left wing before putting the ball on the floor. Markannen bullied Stevens, spun through a would-be double team and bullied Stevens some more before softly laying the ball through the net while drawing the foul on Stevens.

Markkanen finished the old fashioned three-point play by draining the free throw. He leads the Jazz with 15 points as Utah is threatening to pull away from Cleveland, leading 79-65 late in the third quarter.

Utah Jazz Playing Shorthanded

The Jazz will be without Kelly Olynyk when they take the floor on Tuesday night after the team’s starting center re-injured his left ankle on Sunday in Memphis.

RELATED: Injury-Riddled Jazz Host Donovan Mitchell, Cavaliers

Olynyk originally sprained his ankle in mid-December which caused him to miss four games around the Christmas holiday.

The 31-year-old had been back in the lineup for the Jazz for the last seven games before turning his ankle in the final minutes of the team’s loss to the Grizzlies.

The Jazz will also be without Collin Sexton who will miss his fifth consecutive game and 12th overall due to a hamstring injury.

Talen Horton-Tucker will also miss the game due to an ankle injury. The first-year Jazzman was reinserted into the rotation in the team’s win over the Houston Rockets on January 5 but was sidelined again due to the injury after the team’s loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Donovan Mitchell Returns To Utah

Team owner Ryan Smith and CEO Danny Ainge both shared their appreciation for Mitchell when asked about the former Jazz great leading up to the game.

RELATED: Jazz Welcome Donovan Mitchell With Tribute Video

“I think everyone should celebrate,” Smith said of Mitchell’s return. “We forget quickly that this is a kid that came out pumped life into this franchise and gave everyone all these memories.”

Unlike many stars across the league, Mitchell never publicly requested a trade away from Utah, even after the team moved All-Star teammate Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Mitchell led the Jazz to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons in the NBA, and Ainge said he hopes fans in Utah show their appreciation upon his return.

RELATED: Jazz Players, Fans Show Donovan Mitchell Love In Return To Utah

“It’s a great story, he’s continuing to get better, I remain a great, great fan of Donovan’s,” Ainge said. “I wish him nothing but the best and I hope that people receive him with great enthusiasm and energy and he deserves that.”

Utah Jazz vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Broadcast

The Utah Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers game is televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. It can also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.

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Lauri Markkanen Abuses Cavs In Post For And-One Basket