Cleveland • For Trey Burke, Friday morning’s shootaround was a return to the spot where he got his first taste of the NBA.
As a young boy, Burke, a native of Columbus, Ohio, watched his first game at what was then called Gund Arena, rooting on Shawn Kemp and the Cleveland Cavaliers. As a middle schooler, Burke watched a young LeBron James lead the Cavs to the playoffs.
But while Burke expects to have 25-30 friends and family in the stands Friday night, this trip to Quicken Loans Arena is all business.
The Jazz (21-36) are beginning a six-game road trip, the team’s longest of the season, with a matchup against the recently surging Cavaliers.
After acquiring forward Luol Deng from the Bulls earlier this season, Cleveland made one more move to land big man Spencer Hawes in hopes of making a push for a playoff spot in the East.
"I think they’re getting familiar with each other," Jazz coach Ty Corbin said of the Cavaliers, who are 7-3 over their last 10 games. "They’re running through their stuff very well. They’re finding times in games when Kyrie [Irving] can take over. And they play as he plays."
Irving, the All-Star point guard from Duke, will be Burke’s assignment tonight. Irving is averaging 21 points, six assists and three rebounds.
For the Jazz, backup point guard John Lucas III missed shootaround because of "gastric distress" and will be a game-time decision.
Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on ROOT Sports.
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