CLEVELAND — The Utah Jazz held on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 109-108 in a Sunday matinee.

High notes

  • Rudy Gobert only finished with six points, but to say that he was impactful would be an understatement. He was without a doubt the most influential Jazz player on Sunday. Even the impressive statline of 20 rebounds and five blocks doesn’t begin to explain it. He was everywhere and was such a leader on the defensive end. There were plays where he guarded four people in one possession, sliding and recovering and calling out rotations. Unreal stuff from Gobert.
    “He was dominant. I thought there was a few times he went up strong and I’d like to see him get to the line more... But he’s such a presence defensively.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder 
  • The Cavs had the ball in the final possession of the game, with a chance to win it, and the Jazz had one of their best defensive efforts of the night through those final seconds. Specifically, Mike Conley’s defense on Darius Garland, was impeccable. It was a game-winning defensive showing from Conley.
  • Donovan Mitchell is nearly always going to be majorly impactful — he’s one of the faces of this franchise. But, I think that he deserves some praise for the effort he’s giving on the defensive end this season and his vision on the court. He might not be the most efficient defender in the world, but when he gives the kind of effort he has been this season, the game opens up even more for him. And some of those passes are just ridiculous when he’s threading the needle.
  • The Jazz, playing without Hassan Whiteside, got a little bit of a look at what a small-ball lineup with Rudy Gay at the five could look like. Honestly, there were times when the spacing was not great and the Jazz were a little sloppy but the fact that they are getting some reps with that lineup and immediately seeing the areas where they need to improve is a good thing.
    “We did some things right. But it’s not going to click overnight. It’s something we’ve got to continue to work on. It’s tough on a night against three 7-footers, but there are things that are definitely fixable that are easy to fix that will come with practice time, come with feeling it throughout the game.” — Donovan Mitchell
  • The Jazz’s ball movement continues to look miles better than it did last week or the weeks before. 

Low notes

  • Live ball turnovers are not good. I mean, turnovers of any kind are not good, but the ones that hurt the most and the ones that teams aren’t OK with are the live ball turnovers and that was a big reason why the Jazz’s 15-point lead dwindled and this game came down to one possession.
  • When the Jazz are playing against a team that has such a height advantage and can field so many 7-footers, they have to work a little harder to get some of the long rebounds and to help out Gobert who is fighting through the trees. 

Flat notes

  • Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff challenged a call with 24 seconds left in the first half. Cedi Osman fouled Mitchell on a 3-point attempt. It seemed clear that there was contact so it was an ill-advised challenge to begin with, but the circumstances made it a horrible challenge. It would have been Osman’s first foul, the Cavs would have had the ball for the last possession with a full clock and they were only down a few points. I just don’t understand using the challenge there, and I’m not surprised that the challenge was unsuccessful.