CLEVELAND--The Cavaliers welcomed back one of the 'Big 3' but might have lost another one.
Kevin Love returned to the lineup, Kyrie Irving left the game, but LeBron James did what he does best as he scored 33 points, including 17 points in the fourth quarter leading the Cavs to a 91-83 win over the Utah Jazz in front of a sell out crowd of 20,562 fans at Quicken Loans Arena. It was the first time the Cavs have won two games in a row since the all-star break. The Cavs improve to 45-22, while the Jazz fall to 43-26.
James led all scorers with 33 points, followed by Irving with 21. Other players in double figures were J.R. Smith with 12 points and Love with 10.
"We had to dig down deep," James said. "It was a really good win for us."
The game marked the return of Love to the lineup after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee on Feb. 11. Love missed 13 games and the Cavs were just 7-6 without him. He scored 10 points and had nine rebounds in 19:44.
"It was good to get Kevin back out there," Tyronn Lue said.
However, with the return of Love, Iman Shumpert and Irving left the game with injuries.
After the game, Lue downplayed both injuries. He said Irving's injury was "precautionary" and that Shumpert was "day-to-day".Already missing Kyle Korver (foot) and Derrick Williams (quad contusion), Shumpert left the game with a shoulder sprain and Irving left with tightness in his knee. James shrugged off the players going down.
"We haven't been healthy all year," James said. "We have to grind it out and play Cavs basketball."
The Cavs had a 14-point lead in the second quarter, but the game was tied after three quarters, 67-67. However, James took over in the fourth quarter with his 17 points.
Moving Up: LeBron James passed Tim Duncan (10,285) for 13th place on the NBA's all-time field goals made list. No. 12 is Kevin Garnett. James scored 33 points with six assists and 10 rebounds for his 35th double-double of the season.
Three Brigade: In a game that the Cavs broke the three-point shooting franchise record in the first half, they didn't shoot very well from long range, hitting just 27.3 percent on 9-of-33. J. R. Smith was 4-of-8 to lead the way. Channing Frye was just 1-of-5 and Iman Shumpert was just 1-of-6
Streaking Kyrie: Kyrie Irving had his 17th-straight game with at least 20 points or more. Irving had to leave in the fourth quarter with tightness in his knee, but scored 21 points with four assists and four rebounds in 30:15.
"He's fine," Lue said. "(We're) just being cautious."
Shump Hurt: Shumpert sprained his left shoulder in the second half and did not return. He finished with nine points and three rebounds in 22:08 before leaving.
"He's day-to-day," Lue said.
Too Many TO's: The Cavs had just 14 assists and 10 turnovers. LeBron James had six assists and Kyrie Irving had four assists.
Korver, Derrick W Out: Kyle Korver sat out his fifth-straight game with foot soreness. He is expected to return on the road trip. Williams sat out with a quad contusion. Lue said he was hoping that Williams will be able to return for the next game.
Next Up: The Cavs will hit the road and start a four-game road trip starting Saturday at 8:30 pm against the Los Angeles Clippers, followed with a back-to-back game against the Lakers on Sunday at 8:30 pm.