Joe G's Running Game Blog
FINAL - ATL 117, CLE 98 ... The Hawks scored 39 points in the first quarter and never looked back, cooling off the Cavaliers on Friday night in Atlanta. Dion Waiters led the Cavs with 23 points and Spencer Hawes doubled-up with 16 points and 10 boards, but the Hawks shot 59 percent from the floor to sweep the season series and hand Cleveland one of their tougher losses of the season. Atlanta's Mike Scott led all scorers with 26 points off the bench.
7:43, 4Q - ATL 102, CLE 83 ... Cavs still struggling to close the gap, but ATL still shooting well, 60 pct FG; Andy, Jack, 9 pts off the bench for CLE; Waiters leads Cavs with 18 pts; Hawes, 15, 8 reb; Kyrie struggling in second game back, 4-12 FG, 9 pts; Hawks beating CLE on boards, 30-25, and have handed out 31 asst to CLE's 16.
End 3Q - ATL 90, CLE 73 ... Cavs have not found their rhythm all night and after a sloppy 2Q, Hawks have rediscoverd theirs; ATL shooting 57 pct, CLE just 39 pct; Mike Scott leads everyone with 24 pts off bench -- 11-12 FG; three Cavs in double-figures - Waiters, 16 pts; Hawes, 15; Deng, 11; Hawks, 29 assists to CLE's 12.
Game highlight - Dion soars for the score ...
Watch Highlight: Take Flight
End 1H - ATL 61, CLE 49 ... Yes, the Hawks shot 57 pct FG in 1H and lead by double-digits, but Cavs have to feel good about being in it, ATL looked disjointed in 2Q, already w/10 turnovers and some bad, bad shots; game not unlike GSW matchup in March -- opponent off to big lead, Cavs chip away; Dion leads everyone w/16 pts; 5-10 FG; Jack, 6 pts off bench -- second unit, combined 16 pts; Kyrie, 7 pts, 3 asst, 3 reb; for ATL, Mike Scott with 18 pts off bench.
6:26, 2Q - ATL 53, CLE 34 ... ATL still stroking it from the floor (65 pct FG), with Cavs making small strides; Waiters brought A-game tonight -- leads everyone w/14 pts, 5-8 FG, including massive FB dunk; second unit providing some relief, Gee, 5 pts off bench; Deng, Hawes, Thompson, combined 2 pts; Kyrie, 5 pts, 3 asst, 2 reb.
End 1Q - ATL 39, CLE 23 ... Poor start defensively for the Wine and Gold, Hawks shoot 67 pct FG, net 39 pts; Millsap, 4-4 FG 10 pts, ATL 12 combined pts off bench; Cavs shooting well (60 pct) with Waiters leading charge - 4-4 FG, 2-2 3pt, but CLE needs to tighten up D in 2Q
3:14, 1Q - ATL 27, CLE 17 ... Atlanta comes out red-hot, shooting 67 pct FG and 50 pct 3pt FG, Milsap already with 10 pts, Teague w/5 asst; Dion hasn't missed from the floor -- 4-4 FG, 2-2 3pt FG, 10 pts; Cavs shooting 50 pct FG.
PREGAME ... Cavs ready to rumble in their biggest game of the season, trying to make a late playoff push. Gettin Anderson Varejao back will certainly be a huge help. Andy participated in shootaround and was a go after he warmed up pregame. Cavs (31-45) come in having won five of their last six and trail New York (33-43) and Atlanta (32-42) heading into the regular season's final days.Dion Waiters comes into tonight hot overall, and has been especially good against Atlanta this year, averaging a team-high 25.0 points on 65 percent shooting in two matchups this season. The last time the Cavs faced the Hawks on the day after Christmas at The Q, the Cavaliers shot .521 from the floor in a double-overtime affair. In that game, Kyrie Irving became just the 3rd player in Cavaliers history to total 40 points, nine assists and four steals in a single game.
Starting lineup for tonight: G Irving, G Waiters, F Deng, F Thompson, C Hawes