The Utah Jazz were going back-and-forth with Cleveland on Friday night — at least until Trey Burke picked up his fourth foul.
As soon as the Jazz’s rookie point guard went to the bench, the Cavaliers seized control of the game and eventually cruised to a 113-102 victory at EnergySolutions Arena.
“I thought they were the aggressor,” said Utah coach Tyrone Corbin, “and good things happened for them as a result.”
Burke was called for his fourth foul with 4:59 left in the third quarter. Kyrie Irving hit two free throws to extend Cavaliers’ 65-62 lead to five points.
By the end of the quarter, the Jazz trailed 85-70. They never got closer than the final 11-point margin.
Irving finished with 25 points. He had 17 in the third quarter, including 10 after Burke’s fourth foul.
Referring to Irving, Corbin said, “He just decided to take it upon himself right there and we didn’t match his intensity.”
Said Burke: “Obviously, Kyrie Irving got going and their team feeds off him. Once he got going and got to the line a few times, that’s when they went on their run.”
The critical foul came after Burke trailed Irving around a high screen. When Irving stopped and pulled up for a jumper, Burke got a little too close and was called for his fourth personal.
“Sometimes the calls ain’t going to go your way,” he said. “But my job isn’t to get mad.”
Without Burke, the Jazz’s couldn’t handle Irving and their offensive execution stopped. Utah managed only three field goals in the final 4:59.
“Our rhythm went down,” Corbin said. “The pace of the game went down a little for us and they kept going. They were able to get into their offense quicker and their defense picked up. ... It hurt us. But we have to learn. We have to learn everybody’s got to be ready.”
Burke admitted watching from the bench in the third quarter was “really discouraging” because “it got a little stagnant out there.”
Still, he insisted, “We’re getting better as a team.”
Burke finished with 17 points and six assists in 32 minutes.
“It wasn’t his best game,” Corbin said. “He had some moments when he played pretty well and he had some moments when he got behind plays. ... It was one of those nights when you use the game to learn lessons.”
• Cleveland breaks away from the Jazz after rookie point guard Trey Burke picks up his fourth foul with 4:59 left in the third quarter.
• Burke finishes with 17 points, six assists and two rebounds in 32 minutes. He makes 7 of his 15 field-goal attempts.