102 - 97 Final
  for this game

James just shy of triple-double as Cavs hold off Jazz

Jan 25, 2009 - 6:13 AM By Tony Pizza PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers already own the best home record in the NBA. On Saturday, they padded their road mark in one of the NBA's other daunting arenas.

LeBron James finished one assist shy of a triple-double with 33 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists to help snap the Utah Jazz's seven-game home win streak in the Cavaliers' 102-97 triumph.

The Cavs might consider scheduling a few more back-to-back games on the road. Either that, or just ensure that James keeps scoring 30 points or more.

"We had a lot of good individual performances out there," Cavs head coach Mike Brown said. "Obviously, LeBron had 33, 14 and nine, that was big night for him. I was most proud of the way he rebounded, especially late."

Cleveland improved to 16-3 when James scores more than 30 and improved to 6-2 on the second half of a back-to-back, including a 5-2 record in that situation on the road.

One day removed from hitting the game-winning shot to give Cleveland a 106-105 win over Golden State, LeBron put on a show of a different kind.

One of the NBA's most exciting players finished with several dunks in the lane that wowed even the infamously hostile Utah crowd. He also had several alley-oop slams, including his last one with 1:48 remaining in the game to give the Cavs a 98-93 lead.

"This is a great place to play," James said of Salt Lake City. "Their fans love them, they show them great support every time they step on the floor. It's always great to pay in an environment like this."

Mo Williams stepped in where James left off and chipped in 25 points, including 5-of-11 shooting from beyond the 3-point line.

"We did a great job tonight with staying together in a hostile environment and getting the win," Williams said.

Ironically, it wasn't James or Williams that ultimately did the Jazz in but a missed 3-pointer from Mehmet Okur, who has been deadly accurate from the 3-point line of late.

"Okur had a wide open three that he normally knows down and we were able to get the win," Brown said.

Okur, who finished with just four points on 1-of-9 shooting, missed a wide-open 3-pointer with 18 seconds left and the Cavs holding onto a 98-95 lead.

It was a moment that Okur has seen go the opposite way so many times in the past. He has been shooting 64 (14-of-22) from beyond the arc over the last eight games.

Despite Okur's off night, the Jazz got typical performances from both Paul Millsap and Deron Williams. The pair finished with their 23rd and 17th double-doubles, respectively, as Millsap had 24 points and 15 rebounds while Williams chipped in 17 and 16 assists.

The Jazz battled back from an early 33-23 deficit after the first quarter but allowed Cleveland to take advantage in the second half behind a 34-point third quarter. Utah made things close with a 12-2 run during the first 3:37 to start the fourth, but Cleveland managed to hold on late.

"It's tough," Jazz point guard Deron Williams said of the loss. "We put ourselves in a bad position again in the first quarter, coming out soft. And then again in the third quarter after we caught up and had the lead."

Utah fell for the first time at home in January despite yet another set of favorable circumstances.

Cleveland was the fifth straight Jazz opponent to come into Utah on the back-end of a back-to-back, while simultaneously finishing off at least a three-game Western road trip at EnergySolutions Arena.

Utah, which used a hot January last season to better its playoff hopes a year ago, fell to 2-4 over its last six games.

The Jazz, who don't have a single player on their roster that has played in every game this season, were without Carlos Boozer for the 32nd straight game.

"I thought our guys played hard," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "I thought we made some mistakes, but I thought we really played hard after the first quarter."

The Jazz also missed Andrei Kirilenko for the second straight game after he left in the second quarter of Utah's win over Minnesota on Tuesday night. The road for Utah doesn't get any easier as three of its next four games are against Western Conference teams with better records.

Cleveland, on the other hand, improved to 4-14 on the road against Utah since 1991, and snapped a two-game losing streak on the Jazz's home floor.