GORDON Hayward led a telling third quarter surge and the Utah Jazz held off a late rally to turn back the Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-92, at the Vivint Smart Home Arena on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
Trailing 33-30 early in the second quarter, the Jazz unleashed a 26-8 run to close out the first half with a 56-41 lead. And when the Cavs tied the game at 60 midway through the third, Hayward sparked a 14-0 blitz to help Utah regain control for good. Hayward had 11 of his 28 points in that pivotal Jazz run.
Cleveland cut a 16-point deficit down to six late in the fourth but Rodney Hood sank a big three entering the final two minutes and the Jazz kept the Cavs at bay with crucial free throws down the stretch.
Aside from Hayward, five other Jazz players finished in double digits, including all starters. Hood had 18 points and George Hill added 13, while Derrick Favors and Trey Lyles each scored 12. Rudy Gobert ended up with a double-double of 11 markers and 14 boards to help Utah improve to 24-16.
Utah has only lost once in 10 games with Hayward and Hill in the lineup.
LeBron James had a game-high 29 points, but Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love struggled for a combined 9-of-32 shooting to finish with 20 and 12 markers, respectively. Kyle Korver also made his debut for the Cavs (28-9) but finished with just two points.
The Cavs shot just 36.5 percent from the field, 29 percent from beyond the arc against the Jazz defense.