Posted March 04, 2012 on AP on Fox
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The Utah Jazz can't seem to win away from Salt Lake City. The Cleveland Cavaliers are struggling to win regardless of where they play. The Jazz try to avoid losing seven straight road games for the first time in more than four years Monday night when they face the Cavaliers, losers of five in a row. After winning back-to-back home contests over Houston and Miami, Utah (17-19) opened a season-high five-game trip with a 102-96 loss to Dallas on Saturday. Paul Millsap had 24 points and shot 11 of 17 for the Jazz, who trailed by as much as 23 in falling to 3-13 away from home. "We felt like we tried our best to contain them as much as possible,'' said Millsap, second on the team with 15.7 points per game. "But they hit some tough shots that took us out of the game.'' That has been an ongoing problem on the road for Utah, which is allowing an average of 103.4 points and 41.8 percent shooting from 3-point range in its last five. The Jazz have lost six straight road games since a 98-88 win over Memphis on Feb. 12, their lone victory in their last 11 away from Salt Lake City. They haven't dropped seven consecutive road contests since Dec. 4-19, 2007. A trip to Cleveland, however, might be what Utah needs to end its slide. With a 113-105 victory over the Cavaliers on Jan. 10, the Jazz won their fourth straight in the series. Al Jefferson, averaging team highs of 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds, had 30 points and 12 boards while Millsap made his first nine field-goal attempts and finished with 19 points. The Cavaliers have been experiencing their own problems lately, suffering through their longest skid since last season's NBA-record 26-game losing streak. Although the Cavs have had lopsided losses to New York and Chicago during their current slide, the other three defeats have come by a total of 11 points. In a 101-98 loss to Washington on Saturday, Cleveland had a chance to send the game to overtime but Anthony Parker missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. "We definitely need to get back on the right track,'' said point guard Kyrie Irving, averaging a team-high 18.5 points. "It's definitely frustrating going game to game. Going down to the wire and you can't close it out. We just have to figure it out and try to get a win.'' Irving was back in the starting lineup Saturday and finished with 20 points and six assists a day after resting with an illness. He also scored 20 against Utah in January, while Antawn Jamison finished with 22 points and seven rebounds. Jamison, second on the Cavs with 17.7 points per game, has scored at least 21 in six of his last seven contests.
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