Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell has 46 in Utah return, but Jazz rally

SALT LAKE CITY — Donovan Mitchell had 46 factors in his return to Utah, but the Jazz rallied late behind Jordan Clarkson to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-114 on Tuesday night time.

Clarkson scored 32 factors, together with 5 3-pointers, and poured in 9 straight down the stretch to gas a decisive 13-0 run.

Lauri Markkanen had 25 factors and 16 rebounds towards his former workforce. Malik Beasley, Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 13 apiece as Utah received for simply the second time in 9 video games.

“I believed our guys simply actually dug in, stayed the course and stayed centered on the little issues,” Jazz coach Will Hardy mentioned.

Mitchell, who spent his first 5 seasons with Utah, additionally had six assists, 5 rebounds and three steals. The three-time All-Star was traded to Cleveland in September for a blockbuster package deal that included Markkanen.

Utah honored Mitchell with a video tribute earlier than tipoff, and Jazz followers gave him an enormous ovation in the course of the video and participant introductions.

“I used to be actually comfy,” Mitchell mentioned. “It wasn’t bizarre. It was identical to enjoying as I’ve right here for the final 5 years. The reception was phenomenal, and I’m appreciative of it.”

Mitchell eclipsed 40 factors for the second time in 5 video games. He set a Cleveland document with 71 factors on Jan. 2, most by an NBA participant in 17 years, because the Cavaliers rallied to beat the Chicago Bulls in time beyond regulation.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, Mitchell is the seventh participant in NBA historical past with 40 or extra factors in his first street sport towards a former workforce. Of these seven gamers, he’s simply the second to lose; the opposite was Nick Van Exel in his first sport again in Los Angeles towards the Los Angeles Lakers.

Tuesday marked Mitchell’s fifth 40-point sport of the season, already a profession excessive.

Darius Garland added 21 factors and 6 assists for Cleveland. (*46*) Mobley and Caris LeVert chipped in 12 factors apiece.

Cavaliers heart Jarrett Allen performed solely seven minutes — all in the primary quarter — earlier than exiting with an sickness. Cleveland ahead Isaac Okoro was restricted to 17 minutes for a similar motive. Both gamers felt nauseated in the course of the sport.

That put a higher onus on Mitchell to make large performs for 48 minutes.

“He was Donovan,” Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff mentioned. “He was attempting to get us via it.”

Cleveland fell behind by 13 in the second half but chipped away on the deficit, lastly erasing it halfway via the fourth quarter. Mitchell scored three straight baskets to punctuate an 11-0 run and provides Cleveland a 101-94 lead. Utah missed 13 of its first 14 photographs in the fourth, opening the door for the Cavaliers to return in entrance.

But the Jazz surged forward 115-107 with 23.1 seconds left after Clarkson scored 9 consecutive factors over three possessions. His outburst helped Utah overcome 1 / 4 in which Cleveland blocked 5 photographs and the Jazz totaled solely 5 baskets.

“I used to be simply being aggressive in these moments,” Clarkson mentioned. “Throughout the sport, I noticed what they had been doing defensively and simply began being aggressive in the fourth.”

Mitchell stored the Cavaliers’ offense afloat in the primary half whereas his teammates struggled to seek out their shot. He scored or assisted on 10 of Cleveland’s 19 baskets earlier than halftime.

When Mitchell cooled off in the third quarter, Utah scored on seven straight possessions to race out to a double-digit lead. Clarkson made three baskets in a row and assisted on one other to energy a 13-2 spurt that put the Jazz up 78-65.

“He had that look in his eye, and I used to be identical to, rattling, it may be a type of back-and-forth nights,” Mitchell mentioned.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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