The Atlanta Hawks were back in action Tuesday night when they made the trip to Cleveland to face off against the resurgent Cavaliers and LeBron James at Quicken Loans Arena. The Hawks have had a rough go of it lately and are looking to squeak out a win against a team they match up well with.
Atlanta’s inactives for Tuesday’s game once again included Dewayne Dedmon who has been sidelined with a stress reaction in his left tibia and could be out possibly another week. Also on the injury report was the rookie John Collins who is suffering from a sprained left AC Joint and he is expected to return very soon. Finally, Mike Muscala has not been practicing of late after continuing his recovery from an ankle injury, but should be cleared to resume practice soon.
In the first quarter, both teams came out hot from the three-point line with the Hawks getting some good offense from second year man Taurean Prince. As always for the Cavaliers it was none other than LeBron James that got their offense going early. Late in the first it was DeAndre’ Bembry who came in and was terrific on both ends of the floor to draw the Hawks back into a tie at 31 to end the first.
The second quarter was a complete turnaround for the Hawks on the offensive end as they couldn’t buy a shot it seemed like. The Hawks were getting some good open looks but simply couldn’t get anything to go in. Luke Babbitt came in for a good stint midway through the quarter and hit a three while making a few nice passes, but it was Kevin Love’s quarter as he really gave the Cavs a big boost to go into halftime up 62-48.
Early in the third quarter, LeBron James was doing everything for the Cavaliers, hitting some tough jumpers and passing out of post-ups into easy shots and the Hawks had no answers. Dennis Schroder got things going some on the offensive end, but he was terrible on defense and near unplayable as 40-year-old Jose Calderon was driving past him with ease. The Hawks gave up yet another 30-point quarter and took a 94-77 deficit into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, it was fittingly Cleveland’s three-point stroke that broke the Hawks yet again, as they could not miss against Atlanta like so many times before. Cleveland went on to post their season high in three pointers made at 20 just 5 away from the NBA record.
Kent Bazemore had a great fourth quarter, getting lots of shots up and looking confident. Atlanta’s reserves got the game back into single digits with under a minute remaining, but it was too little too late and the Cavs took the win on a night that saw Taurean Prince score his career high with 24 points.
The Hawks will face off against Detroit on Thursday in a game that may see the return of John Collins. Make sure to join us then.