LeBron James scores 33 points as Cavaliers hold off Jazz, 91-83

GORDON Hayward and Rudy Gobert started strong on offense as the Utah Jazz defense shackled Detroit early and weathered a late rally to defeat the Pistons, 97-83, at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time). "I don't give that out very easily, but that's as sound and solid as we've been in a while". Register now for the free webinar.

"We talked about just trying to defend throughout this trip", Snyder said. "They're going to get shots playing with those two guys".

Utah has won seven of its last 10 games entering play tonight and is 5-4-1 against the spread during that stretch. "We knew they were going to pick it up offensively and they did in the third quarter", Snyder said. "We settled in again and did some good things at the end". Six nights earlier at The Palace, the Pistons trailed Cleveland 27-12 at the same juncture when Morris' timeout tirade breathed life into them.

"The last two home games, especially, he's being aggressive and he's making plays and as a result, he's much more connected to his teammates", coach Stan Van Gundy said Monday. He returned to play the final five-plus minutes of the game but was visibly favoring the ankle. Not only would they go on to cut even deeper into Cleveland's lead, but they would eventually come back to win the game 106-101.

Utah's defense was in top gear, holding the Pistons to 26.9 percent shooting in a 16-point second quarter.

The Jazz (43-25) led, 54-35, at halftime and looked to be putting it out of reach in the third quarter, posting a 77-62 lead.

Andre Drummond, Marcus Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, usually three of Detroit's more reliable scorers, combined to shoot 2 of 15 in the half. I think we was just laying down before the game started. Tobias Harris, coming off the bench as Van Gundy reinserted Jon Leuer in the starting lineup for matchup purposes, added 12. "I mean, c'mon. You can't play NBA basketball like that", Van Gundy said. "I told the team after the game that we've been starting six guys since the All-Star break, a lot of them in every game, and we've had one good start". Gobert extended his streak of blocked shots in consecutive games to 37, a league high.

Give some credit to Van Gundy as well. One night after Cleveland hit its first 10 and 19 of 30 overall, Utah hit 4 of 5 to start the game and 13 of 28 for the night.

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Pistons are now 3.5-point home underdogs versus the Jazz after opening as a 3-point underdog.

Baynes played 12 minutes in the second half and Boban Marjanovic played five, with Drummond only getting seven. Ish Smith played 21 minutes at point guard while Jackson played three. "Reggie was absolutely exhausted three minutes into the second half, so I went away from him", Van Gundy said. The Jazz are playing some of their best ball of the season and beat the Pistons by 33 points a couple months ago. Thus, they kept all the advantages of the quarter near to 20 points, alternating between 19 or 22 constantly.

  • Julie Sanders