Love returns in win over Jazz, but 2 more Cavs injured
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James scored 33 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Utah Jazz 91-83 on Thursday night.
Kevin Love played for the first time since having surgery on his left knee last month, and scored 10 points in 19 minutes. But Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert left the game with injuries.
James was 13 of 20 from the field and had 10 rebounds with six assists. He also moved into 13th place all time in field goals in the fourth quarter, passing Tim Duncan.
Irving, who scored 21 points, didn't play in the fourth quarter because of tightness in his left knee. Shumpert sprained his left shoulder in the third quarter.
Irving told reporters the knee had been bothering him for 48 hours and tightened up when he went to the bench after the third quarter. He said he left the game for precautionary reasons and isn't sure if he'll miss any playing time.
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said Shumpert, who has been starting at shooting guard for nearly three months, is listed as day-to-day.
Rudy Gobert led Utah with 20 points and 18 rebounds. The Jazz, who played in Detroit on Wednesday, seemed to run out of gas down the stretch.
James hit two free throws to put Cleveland ahead midway through the fourth. He drove down the lane for a thunderous dunk and added a 3-pointer, giving Cleveland an 84-77 lead.
The Jazz cut the margin to 84-81, but J.R. Smith's 3-pointer from the corner and James' layup put away Cleveland's second straight win after losing four of five.
Love, playing on a minutes limit, had eight points in the first quarter. He had surgery Feb. 14 and was originally expected to miss six weeks. Love is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds, his best season since joining Cleveland in 2014.
Cleveland built a 36-22 lead early in the second quarter, but Utah trailed by two at halftime and tied the game early in the third.
Gordon Hayward was 4 of 14 from the field and scored 13 points. Joe Johnson and Joe Ingles each scored 12.
Jazz: F Derrick Favors (bruised left knee) and G Shelvin Mack (sprained left ankle) remain out. There's no timetable for Favors' return. ... Gobert extended his streak of blocked shots in consecutive games to 37, a league high. ... Utah is 20-14 on the road.
Cavaliers: G Kyle Korver (sore left foot) missed his fifth straight game, but is expected to return during the road trip. ... Lue said Smith will return to the starting lineup when the team is back to full strength. ... F Derrick Williams (right quad contusion) didn't play.
Jazz: Visit Chicago on Saturday. Utah hasn't beaten the Bulls on the road since Jan. 7, 2015.
Cavaliers: Visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday in the opener of a four-game road trip.