SALT LAKE CITY – Kyrie Irving had 25 points and eight assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Utah Jazz 113-102 on Friday night.
In Luol Deng’s first game with the Cavaliers, Irving scored 17 points in the third quarter to turn a three-point deficit into a 15-point lead as Cleveland snapped Utah’s season-high four-game home winning streak. Deng had 10 points in his Cleveland debut.
The NBA’s worst-shooting team hit 54 percent against the Jazz, including 63 percent in the second half.
Tristan Thompson had 18 points and 15 rebounds, while C.J. Miles and Dion Waiters each scored 17 to help the Cavs win their first road game since a 109-100 victory in Orlando on Dec. 13.
Playing without leading scorer Gordon Hayward, sidelined by a strained hip, the Jazz were paced by Richard Jefferson’s 18 points. Trey Burke had 17 points and six assists, but picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter right before Irving sparked Cleveland’s key surge.
Irving missed three games with a bruised knee but has returned with extra energy and a sharp touch. Shooting 43 percent on the season, he was 6 of 9 in the win Tuesday against Philadelphia and then made all three of his 3-point attempts against the Jazz.
After a root canal Thursday, Irving showed no ill effects as he scored from a variety of spots on the floor and pushed the Cavs to 21 fast-break points.
Deng played more than nine seasons with the Bulls and was an All-Star the past two before he was acquired Tuesday for Andrew Bynum and three future draft picks. Averaging 19 points and 6.9 rebounds in Chicago, Deng appeared to be searching to find his place in the Cleveland offense as he played only 21 minutes and had four turnovers.
Hayward, coming off a career-high 37 points, missed his first game of the season because of a muscle strain in his left hip flexor. He will be a game-time decision Monday against Denver.
The game was back and forth with 14 lead changes and 11 ties until the Cavaliers took charge in the third quarter.
Trailing 49-46 at halftime, the Cavaliers started the third with a 10-2 run to take a 56-51 lead. When Burke was whistled for his fourth foul and headed to the bench, the Jazz were down 65-62.
Irving took full advantage and scored 17 points, including consecutive 3-pointers, in the third quarter to spark another Cleveland run. Jarrett Jack, who has been bothered by back spasms, capped a 15-2 surge with a 3-pointer and a jumper to make it 87-70.
Miles, after scoring a season-high 34 points and setting a Cavaliers record for 3s in a game with 10, kept up his strong shooting by going 6 of 7. Miles played his first seven years in Utah and greeted Jazz coach Ty Corbin with a warm embrace just before the opening tip.
The Cavaliers are within 1 1/2 games of eighth place in the Eastern Conference, but will need more wins on the road to fight their way into the playoffs. Cleveland is 3-15 away from home.