CLEVELAND — A long road trip that might make the Utah Jazz feel better about being in the Western Conference mercifully came to an end tonight.
The Cleveland Cavaliers took advantage of the shorthanded Jazz, winning 105-93 to hand Utah its third straight loss during a rough 1-4 trip.
The Jazz played well for about half of this game — even holding a double-digit lead briefly in the second half — but they couldn't keep up with the Cavs while again playing without Deron Williams (ankle), Andrei Kirilenko (finger), Mehmet Okur (family illness) and Matt Harpring (ankle).
Two Carlos Boozer free throws gave Utah a lead at 62-52 with 8:29 remaining in the third quarter, but it was all Cleveland after that.
LeBron James torched the Jazz with 38 points, seven assists, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals. The Cavs also got a big game from former Utah backup point guard Mo Williams, who scored 20 points against his old team.
Boozer topped Utah, which dropped to 6-4 after opening 5-0, with 17 points and nine rebounds. Paul Millsap had 15 points off the bench, while Ronnie Price and C.J. Miles each chipped in with a dozen points apiece.
Price helped the Jazz take a 53-46 lead into the locker room after hitting buzzer-beating 3-pointers at the end of the first and second quarters.
Utah doesn't have much time to heal up after the rough road swing. The Jazz are back in action at EnergySolutions Arena on Monday night against the Phoenix Suns. It's uncertain for now how many of the out-of-action players will be back in the lineup by then.