SALT LAKE CITY – Donovan Mitchell scored 46 points on his return to Utah, but the Jazz rallied behind Jordan Clarkson and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-114 on Tuesday night.
Clarkson scored 32 points, including five 3-pointers, and hit nine straight in the stretch to lead the series to a 13–0 decider.
Lauri Markkanen scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds against his former Jazz team. Malik Beasley, Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 13 points each as Utah won for only the second time in nine games.
Mitchell, who spent his first five seasons with the Jazz, also had six assists, five rebounds and three steals. In September, the three-time All-Star was traded to Cleveland for a blockbuster that included Markkanen.
On January 2, Mitchell set a Cleveland record with 71 points, the most by an NBA player in 17 years, as the Cavaliers rallied to beat Chicago in overtime.
Darius Garland has 21 points and six assists for Cleveland this season. Evan Mobley and Carys LeVert scored 12 points each.
Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen played just seven minutes – all in the first quarter – before leaving due to illness.
Cleveland trailed by 13 points in the second half but cut the deficit, finally eliminating it midway through the fourth quarter. Mitchell hit three in a row to underline the 11-0 lead and put Cleveland ahead 101-94. The Utah missed 13 of their first 14 shots in the fourth quarter, opening up the Cavaliers for the lead.
But the Jazz took a 115–107 lead with 23.1 seconds left after Clarkson scored nine straight points over three possessions.
Mitchell supported the Cavaliers’ offense in the first half while his teammates struggled to find their hit. Before halftime, he hit or assisted 10 of Cleveland’s 19 goals.
As Mitchell cooled off in the third quarter, Utah hit seven consecutive balls to take a double-digit lead. Clarkson hit three straight baskets and assisted another to set up a 13–2 run that gave the Jazz a 78–65 lead.
Cavaliers: Kevin Love grabbed nine rebounds ahead of Anderson Varejao for sixth on the Cleveland career list. Lava has 4459 boards with Cavs.
Jazz: Clarkson scored 15 of Utah’s 28 points in the fourth quarter. … The Jazz had 16 passes to give the Cleveland 22 points.
Cavaliers: Visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.
Jazz: Host the Orlando Magic on Friday.
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