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Cleveland at Utah

All-Star snub Williams erupts vs. Cavs, helps Jazz extend streak

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

SALT LAKE CITY -- Gordan Giricek smothered LeBron James throughout the fourth quarter and helped hold the Cleveland star to four points in the final period.

However, it was Giricek's final defensive play in Utah's 99-98 win Wednesday night that bothered the Cavaliers the most.

Giricek collided with Sasha Pavlovic before Pavlovic got off a 37-foot shot that missed at the buzzer. The Cavaliers thought he was fouled and stood in disbelief after the buzzer when none of the officials blew a whistles.

"He dribbled the basketball and Giricek tried to take a charge and he slid to the side and he fouled him with time on the clock," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "Maybe that's too tough a position for the refs to be in to make that type of call. Watching the replay, it was a foul and it's unfortunate for us."

The Jazz were badly outrebounded and made just 60 percent of their free throws, but the held James to just eight points in the second half and beat Cleveland for the first time in nearly three years.

Utah has won six straight entering the All-Star break. Deron Williams scored a career-high 33 points and had 12 assists for Utah and Giricek -- not known for his defensive play -- held James to 1-for-5 shooting in the fourth quarter.

"Gira did a great job on him," Williams said. "We know who's hands the ball's going into and he stepped up and did a great job defending him."

The Jazz improved to 6-1 since leading-scorer and rebounder Carlos Boozer -- the former Cavalier -- was knocked out of the lineup with a small fracture in his left leg.

Boozer sat behind the Utah bench and saw a thrilling finish.

Cleveland had a final chance after Williams missed a runner with about five seconds left and Pavlovic got the loose ball and heaved a shot after running into Giricek.

Pavlovic, James and Anderson Varejao lamented after there was no foul called and the Jazz celebrated the victory.

"Sasha's going full speed and a guy bumps him," James said. "I mean, no matter what type of game it is, I think that it's a foul."

James finished with 23 points and Larry Hughes scored 33 for the Cavaliers.

Varejao pulled down 17 rebounds and James and Drew Gooden had 10 boards apiece as the Cavaliers outrebounded the Jazz 49-37. But James didn't make a field goal in the fourth quarter until 1:15 remained as Cleveland tried frantically to rally after falling behind 97-89 on an 8-0 run by the Jazz.

Mehmet Okur scored 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and Andrei Kirilenko added 10 points and three blocks for the Jazz.

Giricek finished with eight points and one steal. Coach Jerry Sloan left him in for the entire fourth quarter -- when Giricek is usually on the Jazz bench, especially in close games.

"There's times where I maybe should have played him a little bit more," Sloan said. "I stuck with him tonight because I thought he was doing a fairly decent job."

After Hughes tied it at 89-89 on two free throws with 3:34 left, Okur scored five during the 8-0 run over the next minute and a half.

James then made two free throws and a layup - his first field goal of the fourth quarter -- to get Cleveland to 97-93. Varejao added a layup to cut the margin to two, then after Williams hit a 19-footer for the Jazz, Pavlovic made a 3 to get the Cavs within 99-98 with 28 seconds left.

Williams tried to milk as much of the shot clock as he could and got off a runner that bounced off the rim. Paul Millsap almost corralled the rebound for Utah, but knocked it outside and Pavlovic was there to grab it on the run.

Pavlovic and Giricek collided right at the Jazz logo and Pavlovic got his shot off just before the buzzer, but was off.

Notes

  • Cavs G Daniel Gibson sprained a toe and did not play in the second half. He was listed as doubtful for Thursday's game against the Lakers.
  • Cleveland had swept the last two seasons against the Jazz.
  • Williams' previous career high was 31 points on Jan. 17 at Detroit.
  • Kirilenko's three blocks gave him 1,002 for his career.
  • The Jazz were just 14-for-23 from the foul line while the Cavs weren't much better, going 21-for-29. James was 5-for-9 from the line and scored just eight points in the second half.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Deron Williams scores a career-high 33 points and 12 assists as Utah wins its sixth straight.  (AP)
Deron Williams scores a career-high 33 points and 12 assists as Utah wins its sixth straight. (AP)
Scoreboard
Cleveland (30-22) 2923202698
Utah (35-17) «1926233199
CLE:L. Hughes 33 Pts
CLE:A. Varejao 17 Reb
CLE:D. Gibson 5 Ast
UTA:D. Williams 33 Pts
UTA:M. Harpring 6 Reb
UTA:D. Williams 12 Ast
Players of the Game
UtahCleveland

D. Williams

L. Hughes
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
336123322

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Cleveland
L. James, SF439-255-9104223
L. Hughes, SG3810-1910-1022233
A. Varejao, PF384-101-217139
D. Gooden, PF376-113-4103215
D. Gibson, PG111-10-00513
E. Snow, PG280-30-06240
S. Pavlovic, SF171-31-20034
D. Marshall, PF153-71-22039
S. Pollard, C71-10-01002
D. Wesley, SG60-00-01020
Z. Ilgauskas, CDid Not Play
D. Jones, PGDid Not Play
I. Newble, SFDid Not Play
D. Jones, PFDid Not Play
S. Brown, SGDid Not Play
Totals 35-8021-2949172298
 43.8%72.4% 
Utah
D. Williams, PG4314-234-8612333
M. Okur, C368-133-352222
A. Kirilenko, SF275-60-022410
D. Fisher, PG251-71-21203
J. Collins, C171-43-45145
P. Millsap, PF303-71-46137
G. Giricek, SG282-82-22228
M. Harpring, SF244-100-06129
R. Araujo, C101-10-04022
C. Boozer, PFDid Not Play
C. Miles, SFDid Not Play
R. Brewer, SGDid Not Play
D. Brown, PGDid Not Play
L. Amundson, FDid Not Play
Totals 39-7914-2337232299
 49.4%60.9% 
Other Games
Chi 85 Final
Char 100
Mem 104 Final
Ind 114
Wash 92 Final
Phi 85
NJ 109 Final
Tor 120
Port 91 Final
Orl 103
Mil 97 Final
Bos 117
SA 90 Final
Det 81
Den 94 Final
Min 99
Sac 93 Final
NO 110
Pho 90 Final
Sea 114
NY 101 Final
GS 120
Atl 96 Final
LAC 93