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."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

DeMar DeRozan: It will be ‘pretty tough’ for me to leave Raptors

Super Bowl referee says Cotchery play could have been a catch

The NBA is one step closer to putting ads on jerseys

Archie Manning defends Cam Newton over press conference

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture


Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker