CLEVELAND — All-Star Kyrie Irving posted his first career triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 99-79 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavs (24-36) pulled within 3 1/2 games of the idle Atlanta Hawks (26-31) for the No. 8 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Cavs have won two in a row and eight of their last 11 heading into a game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
Forwards Luol Deng and Tristan Thompson each had 16 points for the Cavs. Thompson pulled down 12 rebounds for his 29th double-double of the season.
Cavs center Spencer Hawes finished with 13 points and matched his season high with 16 rebounds.Backup center Tyler Zeller continued his fine play with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Guard Gordon Hayward paced the Jazz with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Forward Richard Jefferson added 13 points and guard Alex Burks had 11 for Utah (21-37), which had a two-game winning streak snapped.
The Cavs limited the Jazz to 35 percent shooting from the field. Cleveland, last in the NBA in field-goal percentage before the game, shot a sizzling 48.9 percent from the floor.
The Cavs dominated the Jazz on the boards, 56-31. Utah outscored the Cavs 42-12 from behind the arc, but it had no bearing on the game.
This is not how the Jazz wanted to start their six-game, nine-day East Coast trip.
A fan ran out onto the court with 6:20 left in the game to greet Irving. He was tackled by security and escorted out of the arena.
Security distributed a flyer at the previous home game when a fan bragged on social media that he was going to run onto the court. It is not known whether it was the same person.
Irving was flirting with his first career triple-double after three quarters with 15 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists. The Cavs led 69-60 after three quarters.
Deng was the Cavs’ leading scorer with 16 points after three quarters.
Hayward had 16 points for the Jazz after three quarters, and Jefferson and Burks each scored nine.
Seven straight points by Irving, including a deep 3-pointer, extends Cavs’ lead to 58-50 with 6:16 left in third quarter.
Utah took a 41-39 lead at halftime. The Cavs were outscored 24-3 from behind the arc in the first half.
The Cavs caught fire at the start of the second quarter and outscored the Jazz 11-4. Zeller’s dunk in traffic knotted the score at 31.
Deng scored 10 points to pace the Cavs in the first half. Hawes had six points and 10 rebounds.
The Cavs used just eight players in the first half.
For the Jazz, Hayward had 11 points and five rebounds. He was 3 of 4 from behind the 3-point line. Utah guard Trey Burke had four points, five rebounds and two assists.
The Jazz drained 6 of 7 shots from behind the arc as they jumped out to a 27-20 advantage after the first quarter. Hayward paved the way with nine points, four rebounds and two assists.
NOTES: With mounting injuries in the Cavaliers’ backcourt, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving’s minutes have soared. He has averaged 44 minutes in the previous two games. “I’m 21,” he said. “I’m using my youth to my advantage. I’m getting used to that everyday grind.” … Cavs F Anthony Bennett (soreness in left knee), C Anderson Varejao (sore back/general soreness), G Dion Waiters (hyperextended left knee) and G/F C.J. Miles (sprained left ankle) all missed the Utah game. Bennett will travel with the team to Memphis after the game. He will be a game-time decision against the Grizzlies on March 1. None of the other three players will make the trip. … Cleveland State fans were well aware of Jazz G Gordon Hayward from his days in the Horizon League with the Butler Bulldogs. He has taken his all-around game to the NBA with the Jazz. Hayward finished January averaging 20.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists during the month. “He’s long, athletic, can shoot it and handle it,” Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. “He plays so hard. He’s a formidable weapon.” … The Cavs have dropped to last in NBA in field-goal percentage at .424. … The Jazz’s coaching staff has a huge Cleveland flavor. Coach Tyron Corbin played two seasons for the Cavs (1986-88). Assistant coach Mike Sanders was a teammate of Corbin’s with the Cavs (1987-88, 1991-93). Assistant coach Sidney Lowe was a former Cavs assistant coach on Mike Fratello’s staff from 1994 to 1999. Developmental coach Alex Jensen, the former coach of the D-League Canton Charge, is also on staff. … Corbin wants Jazz G Trey Burke to keep his emotions in check for tonight’s game. He grew up in Columbus. “I want him to calm down and play the game,” Corbin said. … The Cavs game is the start of a six-game, nine-day East Coast road trip for the Jazz.
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