Cavs Fall to Hawks
For the second straight night, the Wine and Gold were walloped – this time in the Dirty South, as the Hawks sent Cleveland to its third straight defeat, 121-94, on Saturday night at Philips Arena.
One night after taking their toughest loss in home history, the Cavaliers fell flat in Atlanta. The Hawks shot 55 percent from the floor and pressed the Cavs into 20 turnovers. Cleveland led for less than a minute on Saturday night.
Offensively, the Cavaliers weren’t bad. Six players notched double-figures, led by Kyrie Irving’s 18 points. They shot 49 percent from the field and closed the game with a 31-point fourth quarter.
But as they had in Friday’s decimation by the Bulls, Cleveland’s defense was porous. The Hawks ran off 30 fast break points and had 31 assists on 46 made baskets.
Irving again did most of his damage early, scoring 13 of his 18 points in the first half. He did go 8-of-10 from the floor, but also turned the ball over seven times.
Kyrie’s classmate, Tristan Thompson, followed up with 16 points and five boards. Alonzo Gee came off Cleveland’s bench to tally 14 points and Ramon Sessions pitched in with 13. Omri Casspi and Antawn Jamison rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
"The way we’ve performed the last two nights is disappointing," said Jamison. "We need to put ourselves in a position where we are trailing by so much to give us a better chance to stay in games and win them."
The Hawks were led by Joe Johnson, who finished with 25 points on 10-for-18 shooting.
"When you’re a young team the one thing you have to count on is hustling and playing hard each game," lamented Coach Scott. "You have to do that every night, and our margin for error is not that big, so we have to play solid on both ends of the court. We have to move the ball better and play better defensively."
Byron Scott’s squad will have to figure out their funk in a hurry, with a matchup in Miami looming on Tuesday night.