Utah's first glance at King James proves to be a memorable one — for the Cavaliers and the 2003-04 Rookie of the Year, at least. LeBron James' first totals vs. Jazz: 29 points, seven rebounds and a 102-96 victory at the Delta Center. But guess who really killed the Jazz and gave Cleveland its first win at the DC in 13 tries? Yep, Carlos Boozer and his 32-point effort. (Jan. 17, 2004)
Story and list by Jody Genessy
Two months after leading the Cavs to a win in Utah, LeBron James struggled at home against feisty defender and 23-point-scorer Raja Bell and the Jazz. James had 14 points but missed 10 of 14 shots in the 97-88 loss. Here's why it made the memory list: Not only was it the Jazz's first win over LeBron — and one of just five in 15 tries — but it was also the only time he's been held under 20 points against Utah. The Cavs and James blamed his bad chest cold. "I wasn't able to breath," he said. "You know, the energy that I usually have in my legs I just couldn't get — because I didn't have any energy." (March 19, 2004).
Red-hot LeBron James sizzled the nets (11-for-15) en route to 36 points in a 92-73 home win for Cleveland. But this one was more memorable for the venom sent the traitor's direction — that'd be Boozer, in this case, not LeBron. The ex-Cav wasn't at the game because of an injury, riling up the Cleveland fanbase he spurned for 60-some-odd million reason$ even more. The event, which included anti-Boozer and "Loozer" signs was just a fraction of the fervor and froth that the so-called "Lyin' King" got 4-1/2 years later. (March 15, 2005)
The Jazz hounded him with Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Miles, even Paul Millsap, before Matt Harpring finally took on the task of annoying LeBron James. The ex-football player did that, which helped limit an perturbed James to 15 points in the final three quarters. Problem for the Jazz was, James exploded for 18 in the opening quarter. He also smashed in a near-midcourt alley-oop pass from Mo Williams and tallied 14 rebounds and nine assists, to boot, in the Cavaliers' 102-97 win in Salt Lake City. (Jan. 24, 2009)
Jerry Sloan was so impressed by James in this one he called him "a terrific player" after he scored 16 of his 38 points in the final period of Cleveland's 105-93 victory. But the Jazz coach also thought his players might've been a bit too awed by the NBA star. "If you say, 'I'm not going to touch him,' you'll be standing there 20 years from now. You might as well just come get an autograph, and go home." For the record, no autographs were given. (Nov. 15, 2008)
Sure, James' 34-point second half was impressive. As were his 40-point total, 10 rebounds and nine assists. But he also made the defensive play of the day, knocking away a pass from Deron Williams intended for Carlos Boozer with 12.8 seconds remaining. Instead of having a chance to tie or win the game, the Jazz ended up with a 99-94 loss. (Nov. 16, 2007)
LeBron James' first-ever triple-double against the Jazz — and his 11th to that point in his career — was nice and all. But Deron Williams spoiled the King's 32-point, 15-board, 13-assist triple-whammy with his own whammy — a clutch drive with 1.3 seconds remaining that proved to be the game-winner in this 103-101 ESPN-televised thriller at ESA. P.S. This wasn't the last a James' triple-double was spoiled vs. Utah. (Nov. 7, 2007)
LeBron James almost didn't play in this one, even getting precautionary X-rays earlier in the day at a Bountiful hospital. But by the end of the night, the 21-year-old had scored 51 points and left to a standing ovation — by the wowed crowd in Utah. James hit from about everywhere, making 19-of-35 shots with four 3-pointers. "I just wanted to showcase my talents to the crowd," he said after the 108-90 win in which he made Utah defenders look helpless. "It was awesome, having the opposing fans cheer for you. It gets no better than that." For Utah fans, it did. (Jan. 21, 2006)
Does anybody remember that — four months after bringing his talents and Chris Bosh to Miami — LeBron James racked up his second triple-double in 15 games against Utah last month? Didn't think so. Paul Millsap's 46-point explosion — with three 3-pointers and an off-balanced buzzer-beater in the final 28.7 seconds — trumped everything James did in Utah's 22-point come-from-behind 116-114 OT victory. It also created quite the buzz in the sports and Twitter worlds. As a reminder, the King had 20 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds in the loss that stunned the South Beach supporters. James also scored zero points in overtime. (Nov. 9, 2010)
LeBron James scored 36 points, including an incredible 18-point fourth-quarter flurry that turned a double-digit Jazz advantage into a late Cavaliers' lead.
Sundiata Gaines filled in a for an injured Deron Williams in the fourth and somehow ended up with the ball as time was running out. The rest is history and a YouTube hit: Gaines hucked up a long 3-point prayer, had it answered and then celebrated on the EnergySolutions Arena scorer's table.
Story and list by Jody Genessy