LeBron leads Cavs past Hawks
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – LeBron James totaled 31 points, eight assists
and seven rebounds to guide the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Atlanta Hawks,
106-95, at Philips Arena.
James added three steals and two blocks while Eric Snow contributed 13 points
and eight assists for Cleveland, which led from start to finish to pick up its
second win in its last three contests.
“I just want to try and be aggressive,” James said. “When I’m in attack mode
our team kind of vibes off that, and it opens up our outside shots.”
Damon Jones added 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the win.
Joe Johnson tied the game-high with 31 points for the Hawks, who have dropped
three of their last four. Zaza Pachulia posted a double-double with 20 points
and 11 boards.
Atlanta outscored the Cavs 27-17 in the third quarter to erase a double-digit
deficit and knot the contest at 79 apiece.
The Hawks started the stanza on an 11-3 run, which Pachulia capped with a free
throw to pull his team within a basket. Cleveland maintained a small lead the
rest of the way until Lorenzen Wright hit a lay-up as time expired to pull his
Cleveland, though, never allowed Atlanta to move in front, and slowly pulled
away as the fourth quarter wore on.
James opened up the final quarter with a traditional three-point play to move
his team ahead. That sparked a 10-2 run, which Jones finished with a jumper to
give Cleveland an 89-81 edge with about nine minutes to play.
Atlanta responded with a 5-0 run to move within three, but Cleveland rattled
off 10 straight points from there to put the game out of reach.
“They kept a small lineup of shooters and we just couldn’t match up,” said
Atlanta head coach Mike Woodson.
James finished the first half with 14 points and five assists while Snow
donated 10 points and seven dimes to guide the visiting Cavaliers to a 62-52
They built that cushion despite the efforts of Johnson, who led all scorers
with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
This was Johnson’s sixth 30-plus point performance of the season…Atlanta’s
Josh Smith left the game in the third quarter with a left eye abrasion and did
not return…Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao left with
an upper-body injury in the fourth and did not return…Cleveland shot 53
percent from the field, while Atlanta shot 45 percent.