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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Jazz forward Joe Ingles looks to pass over Cavaliers forward Kevin Love during the first half Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Sunday, December 31, 2017 1:00 am

NBA

Jazz spoils James' 33rd birthday

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY – Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points, and the Utah Jazz handed LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers their third straight defeat, 104-101 on Saturday night.

James had 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists on his 33rd birthday as Cleveland lost at Utah for the sixth straight time. The Cavs' three-game losing streak is their second this season.

Mitchell blew by J.R. Smith with the dribble and finished a layup in traffic over James with 35 seconds left to give the Jazz a 100-97 lead. James then missed a layup, and Utah finished off the game from the free-throw line. The Jazz snapped a three-game losing streak.

Mitchell shot 10 for 17 from the field. Ricky Rubio had 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

James did not record a point or an assist during the game-changing third quarter, which Utah opened with a 23-3 run. Cleveland connected on just 4 of 19 shots in the quarter.

James powered the Cavaliers' late rally, but the Jazz were able to hold on.

The Cavs led by 10 in the first quarter. Utah chipped away in the second and trailed 53-48 at halftime.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said Isaiah Thomas (hip), who has not played this season, looked good during a Friday scrimmage. Doctors have not yet cleared Thomas to play, Lue said.

PISTONS 93, SPURS 79: In Detroit, Andre Drummond had 14 points and 21 rebounds to lead Detroit, which held San Antonio to its lowest point total of the season.

Playing without starting guards Reggie Jackson (right ankle sprain) and Avery Bradley (sore right groin), the Pistons defended gamely and never trailed. Reggie Bullock scored 22 points for Detroit, and rookie Luke Kennard added 20 – both were career highs.

Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points for San Antonio, which shot 37 percent from the field and 5 of 26 from 3-point range.

Detroit led 24-13 after the first, which equaled San Antonio's lowest-scoring quarter of the season. It was 35-20 before the Pistons hit a dry spell of their own toward the end of the half. A 16-4 run by the Spurs left Detroit with only a three-point lead at halftime.

The Pistons managed to maintain their advantage, though. Kennard's outside shooting gave Detroit a lift on a night when neither team was impressive offensively, and Bullock was sharp throughout in just his 12th start of the season.

Detroit led 63-57 after three quarters, and the Pistons broke it open early in the fourth. A layup by Bullock after a San Antonio turnover made it 78-63.