Hood, Jazz shoot down Cavaliers
(The Sports Xchange) - Taking over games is quickly becoming Rodney Hood's personal trademark.
Hood lights a fire under the Utah Jazz offense every time he shoots these days. That was certainly the case in a 94-85 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. The second-year guard rattled off 28 points on 9-of-16 shooting -- which included four 3-pointers.
Hood provided a huge lift for Utah in the absence of leading scorer Gordon Hayward, who missed the game due to plantar fasciitis.
"My teammates were telling me to be aggressive," Hood said. "I got going early, and stuff started to open up."
Shelvin Mack added 17 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, while Derrick Favors chipped in 19 points and Trey Lyles added 12 points for the Jazz (32-35). Utah shot 44.4 percent (12-for-27) from the perimeter to help secure its third consecutive victory and keep pace with Dallas and Houston in the battle for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Mavericks and Rockets, both 34-33, are each two games ahead of the Jazz.
LeBron James scored 23 points and collected 12 rebounds, notching his 23rd double-double of the season to lead Cleveland. Kyrie Irving chipped in 15 points and Kevin Love added 12 point.
Cleveland (47-19) had won three straight and six of seven before falling to the Jazz. The Cavaliers were doomed by poor perimeter shooting, connecting on just 23.8 percent of their 3-pointers, 10 of 42.
"We had our chance," James said. "We definitely settled for the outside shot too much tonight and didn't get into the paint. They did a great job of capitalizing on our mistakes." Continued...