Jazz beat Cavs on Hayward’s jumper at buzzer
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gordon Hayward made a step-back jumper at the buzzer, one-upping LeBron James and boosting the Utah Jazz to a 102-100 victory over the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
Hayward, who had 21 points, broke free of James to catch an inbounds pass, faked a move to the basket and then stepped back on the right wing and swished a 21-foot jump shot as the horn sounded.
The forward was mobbed by his Jazz teammates in a scene reminiscent of a college tournament game.
Derrick Favors had 21 points and 10 rebounds but the Jazz had to overcome a last-minute effort by James, who scored 31 points as Cleveland fell to 1-3.
With the Cavs down four points with 17 seconds remaining, James made a 3-pointer from the corner off a deflected pass while falling away out of bounds. He then made all three free throws after faking Favors into a foul on a 3-point attempt to tie the game at 100 with 3.4 seconds left.
Kyrie Irving had 34 points and Kevin Love added 14 for the Cavaliers, who lost for the second time in two nights.
The Jazz led the entire way — by as many as 16 points — until the fourth quarter, when Irving scored 10 points in a 14-6 run that gave the Cavaliers an 89-86 edge with 4:43 remaining.
The Jazz went back in front and led 93-89 when Trevor Booker beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer. The next play down, Booker was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul on Love. The two exchanged words and each got a technical, ratcheting up the intensity in the already tight contest.
The Jazz led 96-90 after Favors made a free throw, but the Cavs forced turnovers on consecutive possessions while Irving and Tristan Thompson scored. Trey Burke converted a pair of free throws for a 98-94 lead with 17 seconds to play.
The Cavs allowed the Jazz to shoot 51 percent in their second of three games in the West. After losing the previous night 101-82 to Portland, Cleveland made it much closer but couldn’t overcome Hayward’s heroics.
Enes Kanter had 18 points for the Jazz and Alec Burks scored 11.
Cavaliers: James passed longtime Jazz forward Karl Malone for sole possession of third place for scoring at least 10 points in consecutive regular-season games (576). . The Cavs, who are best in NBA from the free throw line, made 34 of 40 attempts. . James is trying to figure out his ideal role. Before the game, he said, "I’ve had two games where I’ve kind of got a little passive and been more of a setup guy and, as a result, we had two losses. In the game where I’ve been aggressive, we’ve won. Is winning the ultimate thing or us being the best team we can be? It’s something that’s going in my mind right now that I’m trying to figure out."
Jazz: The Jazz shot 58.5 percent in the first half and built a 59-48 lead before cooling off in the third. . The Jazz had 26 assists to only six for Cleveland and outrebounded the Cavs 41-30.
Cavaliers: Visit Denver on Friday.
Jazz: Host Dallas on Friday.