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Wrap-Up – Turnabout is fair play. And on Wednesday night, the Hawks gave as good as they got back on November 15 – shooting 65 percent from the floor and 57 percent from beyond the arc en route to a 127-98 blowout over Cleveland at The Q.
Seven Hawks scored in double-figures, led by reserve guard Shelvin Mack, who got extended minutes with Jeff Teague out nursing a strained left hamstring. The former Butler star came off Atlanta’s bench to tally a career-high 24 points – going 7-of-8 from the floor and a perfect 6-6 of from long-distance. The Hawks’ second unit alone was 12-of-15 from three-point range.
For the Wine and Gold, LeBron James and Dion Waiters notched 21 points apiece. James went 8-of-16 from the floor, adding three boards, a pair of assists and a team-high two steals. Waiters was equally efficient – going 9-for-18 from the field to go with four assists and three rebounds. Kevin Love was the only other Cavalier in double-figures, registering his 14th double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 boards.
The Cavs were outscored in the paint (58-46), were outrebounded (40-33) and saw the Hawks convert 49 makes on 36 assists.
Turning Point – Midway through the second quarter, Matthew Delladova’s three-pointer gave the Cavaliers a dozen-point advantage, 50-38. But back-to-back three-pointers by Shelvin Mack and Kent Bazemore cut Cleveland’s lead to single figures. Mack and DeMarre Carroll hit back-to-back treys two minutes later to tie the game. One possession later, Mack drilled his third three of the quarter and the Hawks never trailed again – eventually running their advantage to 31 after intermission.
By the Numbers – 3 … points that LeBron James needs to tie Charles Barkley (23,757) for 23rd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. LeBron passed Robert Parish earlier this season in Boston and will take aim at Allen Iverson (24,368) after passing Sir Charles in Cleveland’s Friday night matchup at The Q.
Quotable – LeBron James, on his squad’s performance on both ends of the floor …
”I think offensively we played pretty well. We moved the ball. We didn’t make as many shots as they did obviously, but defensively we definitely took a step back.”
Up Next – The Wine and Gold’s homestand rolls on this weekend as the Cavaliers welcome Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and the Nets to The Q for the first time this year on Friday night. On Sunday, it’s the first matinee of the season as the Cavs welcome the red-hot Grizzlies to Cleveland for a 4:30 affair. The Cavaliers wrap up the five-game homestand on Tuesday night when they host Kevin Love’s old squad, the Minnesota Timberwolves. It’s LeBron’s turn to face former mates after that, as Cleveland travels to Miami for a Christmas Day matchup with the Heat.