Tristan Thompson finished with 18 points and recorded 15 rebounds, his 16th double-double of the season, to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a victory over the Utah Jazz, 113-102. The Cavaliers took quality shots in this one, going 45-83 (54.2%) from the field, including 7-14 (50.0%) from three-point range. Cleveland (13-23) has won just three of their last 10 games.
Thompson went 9-12, in a quality offensive outing. Other top performers for Cleveland were Kyrie Irving with 25 points and 8 assists, and Tyler Zeller with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Despite the loss, Richard Jefferson put up 18 points for Utah on 6-11 shooting (3-4 on 3-point attempts), in addition to going 3-5 from the free throw line. Enes Kanter contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds and Derrick Favors finished with 12 points and 6 rebounds.
Contrary to expectations, the offense of Cleveland (ranked 26th in the NBA in offensive efficiency) recorded 1.19 points per possession against the # elite defense of Utah (ranked second in defensive efficiency). Along with their eFG% of 58.4%, the Cavaliers connected at a rate of 50.0% from 3-point range. On the season, they are undefeated (3-0) when they record marks above 55% and 40% in those respective categories. Conversely, the Jazz are 1-6 when allowing their opponents to reach those percentages.
Utah (12-26) couldn't get consecutive victories after beating Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
Coming up, the Cavaliers square off with the Sacramento Kings, who are 11-22 on the season. The Jazz match up with the Denver Nuggets, currently sitting at 18-17 this year. The Jazz are 1-1 versus Denver this season.