SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Jazz seem to like the third
For the second game in a row, the Jazz recovered from a slow
first half with an explosive third quarter, beating the Cleveland
Cavaliers 95-78 Saturday night.
"We pressured the ball in the third quarter and just played
harder. More than anything else, the effort was the key,'' said
Utah's Matt Harpring, who scored 22 points and sparked a key
The Jazz had spurts of 12-0 and 11-1 in the third and the Cavs,
playing their last game of a six-game road trip, were unable to
muster a comeback.
"We're ready to go home,'' Cleveland coach John Lucas said.
"All those guys know how to play. All my young guys are still
developing and learning how to play.''
Calbert Cheaney, who hadn't reached double figures in five
games, added 13 points for the Jazz, who had similar luck in the
third quarter Thursday when they outscored Seattle 34-11 in a 92-85
Utah won its sixth home game in a row and posted its eighth
victory in the last 10 games.
Ricky Davis scored 25 points for Cleveland, but had only three
after halftime. The Cavaliers have lost their last four games by at
least 17 points.
"We got a little more aggressive on him and limited his
touches. When he did get the ball, we forced him to the middle
where the strength of our help is,'' Cheaney said.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 21 points for Cleveland, which hasn't
won in Utah since 1989, a span of 13 games.
Davis scored 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting in the first half to
keep the Cavs close and when Ilgauskas made a layup to open the
second half, Cleveland led 49-48.
"We got ourselves in a situation where we needed a real good
stretch to get us out of trouble,'' Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.
Harpring started a 12-0 run with a 3-pointer and capped it with
a jumper, giving Utah a 62-51 with 6:44 to play in the third. But
the Cavaliers didn't give up.
Smush Parker scored on a breakaway layup to trim the Utah's lead
to 63-62 before the Jazz closed the quarter with an 11-1 run.
"When we start playing well defensively like we did in the
second half, it helps get our offense back in rhythm,'' said John
Stockton, who had eight assists.
Utah's screens and hard cuts wore down the Cavaliers, as the
Jazz were credited with assists on 28 of their 33 field goals.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers committed 21 turnovers that led to 29 Jazz
The Cavs knew they were finished when Andrei Kirilenko slammed
an alley-oop from Mark Jackson and then made a backhanded tip-in to
push Utah to a 81-67 lead. Kirilenko had 12 points, seven rebounds,
four blocks and three steals.
"Andrei came in and disrupted everything. He got his hand on
lots of balls, blocked shots, got steals and made some excellent
plays,'' Cheaney said.
The Jazz didn't need much from Stockton and Karl Malone, who
combined for only 16 points.
Utah's first shot of the game was Malone's airball from
behind the 3-point line. ... Both teams combined for only three
3-pointers. ... Both Ilgauskas and Davis received technical fouls
in the fourth quarter. ... The Cavaliers completed their 14th set
of a league-high 24 back-to-back games this season. ... In the
first quarter, Davis saw the play from Lucas and yelled, "No! Give
it to me, Coach. I just made two in a row.''