LeBron James's 38 points powered the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 105-93 victory over the Utah Jazz to notch up their seventh consecutive win. Cleveland had trailed 53-46 at the interval, but the Central Division leaders poured in 34 points in the third quarter to take the lead. James then scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to wrap up the victory. He also had seven assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots.
"I'm just making a conscious effort to be more into it on the defence end," James said. "I want to be the best player on both ends of the court." The former Utah player Mo Williams added 20 points for the Cavaliers who won their sixth successive home game. Delonte West scored 12 points, 11 in the third quarter run which gave Cleveland a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the match. The former Cavalier, Carlos Boozer, paced the Jazz with 17 points in the team's third loss in a row.
Utah had fallen behind 25-21 in the first quarter, but scored the first 11 points of the second period to grab a 32-25 advantage. Cleveland did not lead again until James' two free throws with 30 seconds left in the period. The Utah starters Deron Williams and Mehmet Okur missed the game as did reserves Andrei Kirilenko and Matt Harpring. Despite the loss, the Jazz remained top of the tight Northwest Division, sharing the lead with Portland.
The Jazz started the season 5-0, but have lost four of five games on a long road trip which ended with the defeat in Cleveland. * Reuters