Cavaliers-Jazz Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 18, 2013
The Utah Jazz are ready to get back to work after a lengthy layoff. The Jazz will try to slow down Kyrie Irving and the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, who are wrapping up a five-game road trip Saturday night. Utah (21-19) has not played since a 104-97 victory over Miami on Monday. Coach Tyrone Corbin gave the Jazz the next two days off before they returned to practice Thursday. "It was good while it lasted," top scorer Al Jefferson said. The Jazz are one of three teams to play a league-low 16 home games to this point. The contest with the Heat began a stretch of 10 of 12 at home for Utah. "I think we're not exactly where we want to be but we're in the range of being in position to get ourselves in the playoffs, and to take a good run here with this homestand that we have, we'll put ourselves in a good position," Corbin said. Another team that has played 16 at home is Cleveland (10-31), which ended a three-game slide with Wednesday's 93-88 victory at Portland. Irving bounced back from consecutive 15-point efforts to score 31 as he outdueled rookie point guard Damian Lillard. "When he's aggressive, he's pushing the ball and he's in attack mode,'' coach Byron Scott said of Irving. "I think our guys feed off of that.'' Irving averaged 21.0 points on 51.5 percent shooting as a rookie last season in two defeats to the Jazz, who have won five straight in this series. Former Cavs All-Star point guard Mo Williams is out for Utah following thumb surgery. Jamaal Tinsley has started in his place the last 12 games, with the Jazz winning seven times. Jefferson, who had 23 points and 11 rebounds against the Heat for his third straight double-double, insists that Utah won't overlook Cleveland. "We've got to be ready to play, we've got to treat them just like we treated the defending champs," Jefferson said. "Go out there with that (same) kind of mindset and that kind of confidence because that's the worst to lose a game that you're supposed to win." The Jazz will see a familiar face when C.J. Miles returns to face his former team for the first time. A second-round pick by Utah in 2005, Miles spent his first seven seasons with the club before signing with Cleveland in the offseason. Paul Millsap, the Jazz's second-leading scorer, was a second-round pick the year after Miles - who has started his last eight games for the Cavs. "We still keep in touch a lot," Millsap said. "I'm happy to see him do well out there. Hopefully he can continue to do it, just not Saturday." The Cavs know they are rebuilding with two second-year players and a rookie in their starting lineup with the injured Anderson Varejao out. In addition, rookie second-leading scorer Dion Waiters has been coming off the bench lately. "All these losses that we've accumulated this year and the heartaches that we've had are going to make us a better basketball team in the future, and I truly believe that," Scott said. "But you have to go through this process."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker