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Watch Gordon Hayward's Buzzer-Beater Sink the Cavs

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

LeBron James and Cleveland fall to 1-3 after another tough loss, but people shouldn’t worry just yet.

Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped to 1-2 on their road trip and 1-3 overall after Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward drained a step-back jumper as time expired to give the Jazz a 102-100 win. LeBron James did everything he could, scoring 31 points, including six in the final 15 seconds to tie it up, but Hayward calmly sank the game-winner on the very next possession over the outstretched arm of Tristan Thompson (who had switched on to Hayward after James fell during the screen).

First, that's a heck of a shot. Hayward made it look terribly easy, but it really isn't, especially considering the circumstances. Hayward finished with 21 points, four rebounds and seven assists, another stellar night for maybe one of the most underrated players in the NBA right now. Derrick Favors also added 21 and 10 rebounds for Utah while Enes Kanter and Alec Burks also scored in double figures. 

Second, the Jazz are off to a pretty great start considering their opening schedule. Utah opened the season with games against the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers. All five are projected to be playoff teams, and they came away with a 2-3 record. The Jazz are incredibly young, but they are showing signs of maturity and development. With loads of talent and several playmakers, the Jazz should be a fun team to watch.  

Watch Gordon Hayward's Buzzer-Beater Sink the Cavs

For Cleveland, there are a few red flags from this game, but nothing to get overly concerned about. The Cavs only dished out six assists last night (compared to 26 for Utah), tying their franchise low. James had four of those six assists. The new combination of players is certainly still getting used to one another, and once everyone is more comfortable in the offense, the assist numbers will go up, especially for point guard Kyrie Irving.

The Cavaliers also need to figure out where some secondary production is going to come from. Right now, James, Irving and Kevin Love are doing all of the heavy lifting. The supporting players, Dion Waiters, Sean Marion, Mike Miller, Anderson Varejao, etc.) all need to acclimate quickly. Whether that comes from James establishing himself as the primary option or some other solution, the team still needs to gel. There are still 78 games left, so there's plenty of time to do that. Obviously the sky-high expectations make patience difficult from a watchful nation, but internally, Cleveland shouldn't be panicking. But if they lose to Denver on Friday night...

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