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Wrap-Up – The Cavaliers have seen this movie before on the road this season, and it doesn’t have a happy ending. On Friday night, they dug themselves a deep first-quarter hole and spent the rest of the night trying to dig their way out. On Friday, the Hawks led by 17 after one, weathered a pair of Cavalier runs, and coasted home with the 108-89 win at Philips Arena.
Dion Waiters led all scorers with 30 points off the bench, going 13-for-20 from the floor. Andrew Bynum put together another strong game, doubling-up with 20 points, 13 boards and a pair of blocked shots. Jarrett Jack rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 12 points. Tristan Thompson grabbed 11 boards to go with nine points.
The Cavaliers shot just 40 percent from the floor and got beat on the fast break, 14-4, but Friday night’s culprit was essentially the team’s lack of energy from the opening tip. Every Hawk starter notched double-figures and Kyle Korver made NBA history on Friday, extending his streak of sinking at least one three-pointer to 90 straight games.
Turning Point – The Cavaliers had one lead in Friday’s affair, a 2-0 edge on Andrew Bynum’s putback to start the game. Cleveland went down by 17 after the first quarter and didn’t get closer than a dozen the rest of the way.
Game Ball – Dion Waiters – Simply put, Waiters kept Friday’s game from being even more lopsided. The second-year guard brought energy from the minute he checked in and played hard for all 35 minutes of action. Waiters, who was just three points shy of tying his career-best, added two boards and an assist.
By the Numbers – 20 … points per game Dion Waiters is averaging off the bench in his last five games – shooting 53 percent from the floor during that stretch, topping the 20-point plateau in three of those contests and going for 30 more on Friday night.
Quotable – Coach Mike Brown, on his team’s effort on Friday night in Atlanta …
”I felt like as a group, other than some reserves, we just didn’t play hard. The reserves played hard and got us back into the game. This is on all of us. It’s on me. I have to do a better job getting us prepared for the game both mentally and physically. It’s on everybody in that locker room. We have to come out and compete for 48 minutes. Sometimes your shot will fall and sometimes it won’t, but you have to figure out how to be gritty and find a way to win a basketball game, especially on the road.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers return home for a pair, beginning with Saturday night’s matchup with the Clippers – who they’ve topped in 11 of their last 13 meetings – at The Q. The Wine and Gold stay home for a Tuesday night meeting with Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks. The Cavs hit the road again after Tuesday’s game, heading to the Sunshine State for a back-to-back against the Magic on Friday night and the Heat on Saturday.