Marshall’s Big Fourth Lifts Cavs Past Hawks
Cleveland 106, Atlanta 97
ATLANTA, Jan. 25 (Ticker) -- Not even a laser pointer could distract Donyell Marshall.
Marshall scored 16 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied for their third straight win, a 106-97 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
In the final period, Marshall outscored Atlanta, 16-15. That was despite having a laser pointer flashed in his eyes by an unidentified fan behind the basket while shooting free throws with 9:49 to go.
The red light served as no distraction to Marshall. In the final period, he made 3-of-5 shots - all 3-pointers - and 7-of-8 free throws. By contrast, the Hawks made just 3-of-14 shots and committed five turnovers.
"(The fan) was doing it more when I was shooting my free throws," Marshall said. "I couldn't really tell when I was shooting my jump shots."
Marshall sank four free throws and a 3-pointer in a 14-2 surge that opened the fourth quarter. James capped it with a pair of layups for a 90-84 lead with 8:08 left.
The Hawks pulled into a 93-93 tie with 4:04 to go on two free throws by Al Harrington, who scored 22 points. But Marshall made a free throw, Harrington missed a pair and Marshall drained a 3-pointer and two more foul shots for a 99-93 advantage with 2:28 to play.
"(The Hawks) had to make a big decision - do they stop me at the three or do they stop Lebron inside?" Marshall said. "I think that's one of the reasons I was brought here.
"When you look in the first three quarters, they stayed on me and LeBron drove and made them pay for it. In the fourth quarter, they left me to double, LeBron was able to find me and I made open shots."
Marshall sealed it at 104-95 with another 3-pointer with 58 seconds left.
"He was great for us tonight off the bench," Cavaliers forward Drew Gooden said. "He scored 19 points, he was 4-for-6 from 3-point range, and he gave us that spurt. He was making some backbreakers towards the end of the game."
Gooden had 11 points and 14 rebounds for Cleveland, which shot a season-high 51 free throws, making 38. James was 15-of-20 from the line and Ilgauskas 8-of-8.
"They got to the free-throw line," Hawks swingman Josh Childress said. "It's going to be hard to get a win when the free throws are 51-22."
Joe Johnson had 24 points and seven assists for Atlanta, which lost for the seventh time in eight games despite shooting 51 percent (38-of-75).
Cleveland trailed for much of the first three quarters and found itself in an 82-76 hole entering the final period. Ilgauskas, who spent most of the third quarter on the bench in foul trouble, committed his fifth foul 13 seconds into the fourth period.
"Early on, our team didn't have intensity, said James, who scored 22 points and collected six rebounds in the second half. "I saw that, so I pretty much had to take over and put the team on my back."
As James picked it up, Atlanta unraveled with poor execution, transition defense and rebounding and fell to 1-5 on its season-high seven game homestand.
"I think it was our offense that let us down," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "We stopped moving the basketball. We had one assist in the fourth quarter. We didn't share the basketball. They put so much pressure on our defense."