Lamar Stevens scored a career-high 23 points and Laurri Markkanen had 20 as the Cleveland Cavaliers handed the Utah Jazz their fourth loss in a row with a surprising 111-91 victory Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.
Stevens, who entered the game averaging 4.5 points, made 10 of 15 total shots. He scored 15 goals in the decisive third quarter as Cleveland held an early lead over the struggling Jazz with a 21-0 streak.
Cleveland improved to 3-1 in its six-game trip after shooting 53.1 percent overall, outscoring the Jazz 50-32 and winning the battle of assists 28-11.
Utah, again playing with fewer personnel, shot just 40%.
Jordan Clarkson scored 22 points off the bench for the Jazz, who were missing eight players, including big men Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside. Six players and several coaches are in the league’s health and safety protocol.
Donovan Mitchell added 17 points but struggled from the floor, making just 6 of 16 shots. Mike Conley was the Jazz’s other double-digit starter with 12 points. Bojan Bogdanovic had just nine points on 3 of 14 shots.
Stevens sparked a game-changing 21-0 streak in the third quarter for the Cavs. After Bogdanovic hit a triple to cut the Cavs’ lead to four for the game, Stevens scored five straight possessions, starting with a triple followed by baskets on the next four trips to the field.
Cleveland was leading 83-58 after that huge touchdown push, which ended with a dunk by Stevens before Clarkson scored again for Utah. The Cavs ended up beating the Jazz 30-16 in the third quarter. Utah went six minutes without scoring in the period.
Stevens finished with 15 points in the third, nearly matching his best of the season by scoring in just one quarter (17 vs. Warriors).
Joe Ingles’s return from the health and safety protocol was short-lived. He was sent off in the first half after being sanctioned for two technical fouls.
The Jazz scored just two points in the first four minutes of the game, falling 9-2. Utah used an 11-0 run late in the first quarter to cut the Cavs’ lead to 27-24.
Cleveland, which has never been far behind, was leading 58-52 at halftime.