CLEVELAND -- Byron Scott joked that he wanted his players to eat Tabasco sauce and gunpowder in advance of a physical matchup against the Utah Jazz.
Right on cue, Kyrie Irving brought the firepower.
Irving scored eight points and came up with a crucial steal in the game's final 2:35, and the Cavaliers escaped with a stunning 104-101 victory after they trailed by 12 points with 7:26 left in the game.
"Merry Christmas to us," Scott said. "We got lucky. That was a gift."
Paul Millsap's basket with 2:46 left put the Jazz ahead 100-92 with 2:46 left, but Irving sparked an incredible rally as the Cavs scored 12 of the game's final 13 points.
The Jazz had a chance to win it in the final seconds, but Mo Williams' layup with five seconds to go bounced all around the rim and trickled out. Wayne Ellington grabbed the rebound and made two free throws, then following a Jazz timeout, Williams missed a 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer.
"I've never seen a layup come out like that," Williams said. "That was amazing. I've never, ever seen anything like that. I don't think I've ever missed a layup, even in practice. I've shot a trillion layups in my life. I've never missed one like that."
It was Williams' first appearance after he missed 32 games following thumb surgery. He found a crease in the Cavs' defense and attacked it, but the shot refused to fall.
"I didn't have to put any English on it. I didn't have to spin it," Williams said. "It was a normal layup. I'm dumbfounded."
Irving had 20 points and 10 assists, including 11 points in the fourth on a night he shot just 7-of-20, but shined in the final minutes. Tristan Thompson had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Ellington had 16 points starting for Dion Waiters and Alonzo Gee had 15 points.
"Shots started to fall," Irving said. "I shot like crap tonight, but my teammates held it down on the offensive end and I was just trying to stay locked in defensively, stay on my man and get the stops we needed and put pressure on the ball."
Irving's steal of Gordon Hayward with a minute left and pass ahead to Ellington gave the Cavs a 102-101 lead, their first since midway through the second quarter.
Hayward had 25 points off the bench for the Jazz and the Cavs overcame a red-hot third quarter from Randy Foye, who scored 11 points in the quarter (including three 3-pointers) to give the Jazz a 76-68 lead entering the fourth. They extended that to 88-76 with 7:26 left before Irving and the Cavs defense stunned them at the end. Irving and C.J. Miles combined for 23 of the Cavs' 36 points in the fourth.
"The basketball gods looked out for us tonight," Miles said. "We've definitely had some bad breaks, but tonight we got one."
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