LeBron leads Cavs past Hawks
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – LeBron James poured in 27 points and pulled
down nine rebounds to lead Cleveland past Atlanta, 89-76, at Philips Arena.
James finished 10-of-25 shooting and also dished out three assists while Larry
Hughes scored 17 points in the victory.
“I thought we played a pretty good game, especially defensively,” James said.
“We got to cut down on our turnovers, but it was probably one of the best
defensive games of the year.”
Zydrunas Ilgauskas posted 16 points and 10 boards for the Cavaliers, who have
won two straight. Drew Gooden added 12 points for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers shot 44 percent from the field in the contest.
Zaza Pachulia netted 22 points with seven rebounds and Josh Childress scored
12 points for the Hawks, who have dropped five in a row. Speedy Claxton had 11
points, seven helpers and a career-high eight steals while Joe Johnson donated
10 points in defeat.
“You play this game to win and not personal stats,” Claxton said. “It was
tough all night. It seemed like we were a step slow on the offensive end for
most of the night. I think our defense was pretty good, but we just have to
find some way to click offensively.”
Cleveland dominated the first quarter with a 22-8 burst, capped by a pair of
James free throws at the 4:07 mark.
The Cavaliers, up by 10 entering the second, maintained a double-digit
advantage throughout the frame and went into the locker room with a 50-37
James finished with 19 first-half points.
In the third, Atlanta cut its deficit to six, 56-50, on Claxton’s three-
pointer with 6:05 remaining. However, Cleveland extended its edge to 12 points
on a Damon Jones trey late in the period.
It was much of the same in the final quarter as the Cavaliers outscored the
Hawks, 23-20, and cruised to their six consecutive win at Philips Arena.
Atlanta finished 39 percent shooting from the floor.
Claxton’s eight steals is also an NBA-high this year…Atlanta’s Shelden
Williams had six points and 12 rebounds…Pachulia shot 9-of-14 from the
field…Cleveland converted on 3-of-6 (50 percent) from three-point range
while Atlanta went 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) from beyond the arc.