Utah 95, Cleveland 78

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SALT LAKE CITY (TICKER) —The Cleveland Cavaliers had little chance of ending their road trip on a positive note.

Matt Harpring scored 22 points to lead five players in double figures as the Utah Jazz remained unbeaten at the Delta Center against the Cavaliers, who closed a six-game road trip with a 95-78 loss.

Cleveland has lost all 12 visits to Salt Lake City since the Delta Center opened during the 1991-92 season. The Jazz have won 12 consecutive home games against the Cavaliers dating to December 11, 1989.

This contest was no different for lowly Cleveland, which lost five games, including the last four, on its longest road trip of the season. The Cavaliers are just 3-20 on the road and own the league’s worst record at 8-34.

“There are a lot of errors we need to improve,” Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas said. “We’re a young team. Everybody knew we were going to struggle this season. We just have to keep getting better and hopefully guys will just keep developing.”

The Jazz led by as many as 11 points midway through the third quarter, but the Cavs went on an 11-1 run and pulled within 63-62 with 3:16 remaining after rookie Smush Parker made consecutive baskets.

Utah responded with its own 11-1 run and closed the period with seven straight free throws.

“It seems like we get ourselves in a situation where we had to have a really good stretch to get us out of trouble,” Sloan said. “The last couple games, we have gone out and played good for a minute or two, then it appears we don’t know what we are doing. But at least we got the stretches to win us the ballgame.”

Five players scored during the burst, led by Mark Jackson, who had four points and buried a pair of free throws for a 74-63 edge entering the fourth. The Jazz never were threatened in the final period and improved to 2-0 on a five-game homestand.

“I like the way our guys played, considering the night and the road trip,” Cleveland coach John Lucas said. “As the game wore on in the third quarter, they put some pressure on us.”

Scott Padgett had seven points and five rebounds in the fourth quarter for Utah, which took its largest lead, 93-73, after a pair of free throws by John Amaechi with 92 seconds left.

Calbert Cheaney scored 13 points and Karl Malone and Andrei Kirilenko added 12 apiece for the Jazz, who have won five of their last six games and nine of 11.

Kirilenko and Cheaney each had seven rebounds and Harpring, Malone and Padgett grabbed six apiece, helping Utah to a 44-32 edge on the glass.

Ricky Davis scored 25 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 21 to lead Cleveland, which shot just 43 percent (32-of-75) and committed 21 points leading to 29 points for Utah.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
R. Davis R. Davis
11-24,  25 Pts
1 Rebs, 5 Assists
M. Harpring M. Harpring
9-18,  22 Pts
6 Rebs, 4 Assists

Team Stat Leaders