CLEVELAND — Maybe it was the change to the starting lineup and bench. Maybe they've turned the corner when it comes to road games. Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers just stink.
Or maybe all of the above.
That, and a whole lot of Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward.
Whatever the case, the Utah Jazz finally won a road game, bursting out to a 17-point lead and then holding on to beat the Cavs 109-100 tonight at The Q.
In his first reserve role this season, Gordon Hayward had a great game for the Jazz off the bench with 23 points.
Jefferson had a huge night for Utah (18-19) with 25 points, 12 rebounds and a season-high seven assists.
Hayward helped lift the Jazz to double-digit lead territory. When he entered late in the first quarter, Utah was only up by two points. The visitors led 56-41 at halftime.
Raja Bell's return from a groin injury forced Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin to make a lineup decision, and he chose to move Hayward to the second unit despite the fact the second-year swingman had started every game this season.
Bell began the game as starting shooting guard, making his return after being sidelined for six games.2 comments on this story
Josh Howard (eight points, four boards) got the starting nod over Hayward at small forward. The nine-year veteran scored double figures in all six starts in Bell's absence and finished this one with 14 points.
The Jazz snapped a six-game losing streak on the road, winning for the first time away from home since Feb. 12 at Memphis.
The Jazz finished the game without starting point guard Devin Harris. He sprained his right knee early in the third quarter and didn't return.
Antawn Jamison and Kyrie Irving each scored 22 points for the 13-23 Cavs, who have lost six straight.