Depleted Cavaliers whipped by Jazz
CLEVELAND — Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz are headed home with a victory, albeit a little earlier than expected.
Mitchell scored 27 points and the Jazz rolled to a 117-87 win over the injury-depleted Cleveland Cavaliers, wrapping up their six-game road trip Tuesday night.
Utah was scheduled to play Wednesday at Washington, but the NBA postponed the game because the Wizards do not have the minimum eight available players.
“It’s a weird time, but we also have a job to do,” Mitchell said. “The key is staying locked in on the task at hand with basketball and being unselfish off the court. We’ve got to continue to be safe and make sure guys are being as careful as possible.”
Jordan Clarkson had 21 points and eight rebounds off the bench and Bojan Bogdanovic added 20 points for the Jazz, whose largest lead was 114-80 on a 3-pointer by Miye Oni. Utah went 4-2 on its 10-day journey.
“We did exactly what we were supposed to do against a team we were supposed to beat,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell, who scored 17 points in the third, and Clarkson each made five 3s as Utah went 24 of 45 beyond the arc. The Jazz nailed a franchise-record 25 triples at Milwaukee on Jan. 8.
“Right now, I think all of us are glad to be getting on a plane, going West not East,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “You obviously appreciate the extra rest at any point in the season, but it didn’t factor into how we played this game.”
Cedi Osman paced Cleveland with 17 points and six assists. Rookie forward Isaac Okoro and Damyean Dotson had 11 points apiece for the Cavaliers, who failed to score 100 for the ninth straight game and have lost three in a row.
Cleveland center Andre Drummond (right Achilles bruise), averaging an NBA-high 15.1 rebounds, was a late scratch after being stepped on Monday against Memphis.
The Cavaliers also were without shooting guard Collin Sexton (left ankle sprain) for the fourth straight game, along with power forward Kevin Love (right calf strain), point guard Darius Garland (right shoulder sprain) and four other rotation players.
“Not making excuses, but there is just so much that’s different because of the amount of injuries,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to maintain our identity.”
Clarkson scored 14 points in the first half and Utah carried a 49-36 lead into the break. The teams combined for two free throw attempts, 31 3-point tries and five airballs on uncontested shots in the first half.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE BEAR
Cavaliers G Yogi Ferrell, who had 10 points and four assists, spent one day with the Jazz during training camp. The fifth-year pro signed a 10-day contract Monday when the NBA granted Cleveland a hardship exception. “Yogi is a smart player and he knows the league,” Snyder said. “He’s played that position his whole life, so it’s easy to adapt to a new situation.”
Jazz: F Joe Ingles (right Achilles soreness) was sidelined for the second time on the trip. His streak of playing in 384 straight games ended last week at Milwaukee. … Utah has started the same lineup all season with center Rudy Gobert, forwards Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale, and guards Mitchell and Mike Conley.
Cavaliers: G Kevin Porter Jr. (personal), who was slated to be the team’s sixth man, has been inactive for all 12 games after his offseason arrest in Eastern Ohio. Bickerstaff continues to be vague about Porter’s status. “We’re still following our plan as an organization,” the coach said. “Every day, we have conversations.”
Jazz: Host Atlanta on Friday. Utah will play seven of its next eight games at Vivint Smart Home Arena, where it is 1-2 this season.
Cavaliers: Host New York on Friday. The Knicks won 95-86 in Cleveland on Dec. 29, when Julius Randle had a triple-double.