Published December 20, 2010
CLEVELAND – CJ Miles scored 22 points, Paul Millsap and Raja Bell added 19 apiece and the Utah Jazz beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 101-90 on Monday night, moving coach Jerry Sloan into a tie with Pat Riley for the third-most wins in NBA history.
Deron Williams had 17 points and 10 assists as the Jazz improved to 11-1 against the Eastern Conference.
Sloan, Utah's coach since 1988, has matched Riley with 1,210 victories. Up next is Lenny Wilkens (1,332) and Don Nelson (1,335). During Sloan's long run, which began before Jazz rookie Gordon Hayward was born, there have been 234 coaching changes across the league.
Daniel Gibson scored a career-high 29 for the Cavaliers, who have lost 11 of 12.
Sloan's tough-nosed mentality made him a feared player, and he used that same intensity and determination to become one of the game's most successful coaches. He's the only coach to win 1,000 games with one team, and is one of just three coaches — Riley and Phil Jackson are the others — to have more than 15 consecutive winning seasons.
He's still looking for his first championship ring, and he's got another team ready to make a run at one.
The night began ominously for the Jazz. Forward Mehmet Okur sprained his right ankle during pregame warmups and had to sit. Okur had only just returned after missing Utah's first 26 games following surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles' tendon.
The Jazz didn't miss him.
Williams smoothly ran Utah's offense the way he always does. Millsap and Al Jefferson controlled the boards underneath and Bell made five 3-pointers as the Jazz had little trouble with an overmatched Cleveland team.
Leading by 12 after three, the Jazz scored two quick baskets to open the fourth and before long their lead was up to 20.
Jefferson added 13 rebounds, including four on the offensive end for the Jazz, who seemed to play volleyball around the rim on several possessions.
Mo Williams added 16 points and 10 assists for the Cavs, who have played with better energy of late but don't have the talent to stay with a team of Utah's caliber.
Deron Williams scored nine points and Millsap added seven in the third quarter, when the Jazz got whatever they wanted on offense. Williams scored seven in a 12-4 spurt that gave Utah a 76-64 lead entering the fourth.
The only thing that kept Cleveland close was its 3-point shooting. Gibson made consecutive 3-pointers as the Cavs, who attempted 11 3s in the period, got within 64-60. But after a timeout, Williams drove for a layup, hit a 15-foot jumper and drained a 3 to send the Jazz on their way.
The Jazz reeled off eight straight points to take a 42-33 lead midway through the second quarter, and seemed poised to open up more distance on the Cavs. However, Cleveland responded by making three 3-pointers in just over two minutes to pull even at 44 before Bell hit his third 3 of the half, pushing Utah's lead to 49-44 lead at the break.
Notes: In his 23rd season, Sloan is the longest-tenured coach with one team in any of the four major pro sports. Still, he has never been named NBA coach of the year. "I'm still kind of baffled by that," Cavs coach Byron Scott said. "But I don't think he cares, either." The Cavs have had nine coaches during the span Sloan has been with the Jazz. "Hopefully, we don't have 10," Scott chuckled. ... Cleveland attempted 28 3-pointers.