Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Impressive LeBron, depressing offense doom Jazz in loss to Cavs

Impressive LeBron, depressing offense doom Jazz in loss to Cavs

He was averaging 20 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 38.4 percent from three-point range. And with only 15 games left before the playoffs begin, it's starting to become disconcerting because Cleveland will also be looking to mix in rest for its stars in that time frame to save their legs for another postseason trek.

"He said he felt good conditioning-wise", Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue told Cleveland has won four of the last five meetings and seven of nine at Staples.

There was some good news for the Cavaliers, though, as before the game it was announced that Kevin Love would return to the team and would be starting in this game. Kyrie Irving never came into the game in the final quarter, exiting with knee tightness. The chilly touch was especially evident during the final six minutes, when they mustered just four points. He hadn't played in a game since February 11, and returned to the court this week instead of next because he responded so well to workouts Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. His presence will be key for a Cavaliers team that has struggled in March, 3-5 before the Jazz game. "I just try to put it on time and on target". He was healthy, but Lue opted to sit him out together with Cavaliers veterans Deron Williams and James Jones.

10 and 9 - Yes, Kevin Love was back! By moving players back into their traditional role, Cleveland hopes to return to where it was a year ago, when it finished the season 10th best in defensive rating. The good thing was his recovery went well, and earlier this week, he was cleared for contact, which allowed him to participate in three-on-three workouts.

"I knew obviously with Kev, they give him minute restrictions when he's coming back".

"His defensive rebounding, for one", Lue said when asked what the Cavaliers missed the most while Love was out. While he probably won't actually win the MVP award this season, this game showcased precisely why no matter what the voters say, LeBron James is the most valuable player in the National Basketball Association.

Forward Derrick Williams (right quad contusion) is also out.

The game was tied going into the fourth quarter when LeBron James put the team on his back. The Jazz took a few brief leads in the final stanza, but ultimately LeBron James caught fire, scoring 17 of his 33 total points in the fourth to lead Cleveland to a grind-out 91-83 victory.

Cleveland plays the Clippers on Saturday and the Lakers on Sunday.

All of this is assuming that the Cavaliers even expect Sanders to help them much at all this season.

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