If the Utah Jazz were willing to give a game away, the Cavaliers were willing to take it.
"Merry Christmas to us," Cavs coach Byron Scott said after his team played just hard enough for just long enough to somehow manage to beat the Jazz, 104-101, before 12,124 appreciative fans Wednesday night at The Q.
Asked how his team won, Scott said: "I don't know. I'll look at the film tomorrow and try to figure out how we won this game."
Technically, it was a 12-1 run in the last 2:35 that enabled the sleepwalking Cavs to wake up in time to improve to 21-40, matching their win total from last season.
What they were doing up until that point was anyone's guess. After coughing up a 22-point lead in Monday's loss to the visiting New York Knicks, the Cavs had absolutely no interest in Wednesday's contest until shortly after the Jazz took an 88-76 lead in the fourth quarter. At that point, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson returned from their typical fourth-quarter rests, joining Luke Walton, C.J. Miles and Wayne Ellington, who started the game in place of ailing Dion Waiters.
Walton fed Thompson for a layup, then caused Utah's Paul Millsap to travel. Irving nearly turned the ball over but rolled around on the floor to maintain control, eventually getting it to Thompson, who found Walton who fed Miles in the corner for a 3-pointer. Then Walton stole the ball and Irving found Miles for another 3-pointer and the Cavs were back within 88-84 with 5:29 left.
Cleveland Cavaliers wake up just in time to beat visiting Utah Jazz, 104-101
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Mar 7