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Hawks soar behind Schroder

By Associated Press in Cleveland | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-10 06:54

 Hawks soar behind Schroder

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love hauls in a rebound in front of Atlanta Hawks' Paul Millsap during the second half of Atlanta’s 110106 victory in Cleveland on Tuesday. [Photo/Agencies]

The Cleveland Cavaliers were handed a surprise on Tuesday night, courtesy of the Atlanta Hawks.

Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 28 points as the Hawks gave the reigning NBA champions their first loss of the season, 110-106.

Cleveland (6-1) cut into two large second-half deficits, but the Hawks converted clutch shots down the stretch.

"It was a weird game," said Cavs captain LeBron James, who scored 23 points after having only two in the first half.

Atlanta led by 18 points in the third quarter before Cleveland cut the margin to two. The Hawks rebuilt the lead to 15 early in the fourth, but the Cavs got within two with 25 seconds remaining.

Kent Bazemore, who scored 25 points, hit a jumper from the corner with seven seconds left to seal the victory.

Hawks soar behind Schroder

"They've dominated the Eastern Conference for a long time now," Bazemore said. "They're definitely the measuring stick, and we passed our first test tonight."

Atlanta had lost 11 straight to Cleveland, including playoff sweeps in the past two seasons.

"For my two years here, they've kicked our butts," Bazemore said.

"This is one of the biggest wins I've had since I've been here."

Paul Millsap scored 21 points for Atlanta. Dwight Howard, who received four stitches for a bloody lip in the first half, had 17 rebounds.

"Give the Hawks a lot of credit," James said. "They played a heck of a game. You know toward the end of the season they'll be right there."

Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 29 points and Love added 24, but the Cavaliers were 11 of 42 on 3-point attempts.

"I think they might have had one of those nights, but our guys were really committed out there," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

"Our defense in the first half gave us a cushion, and we were able to hold them off."

Cleveland cut a 96-81 deficit to 101-97 on James' bucket with 3:14 to play. The Hawks scored the next six points, but 3-pointers by James and Irving made it 106-103 with 48 seconds left.

Milsap's basket pushed the lead to five, but Love converted a three-point play with 25 seconds remaining before Bazemore hit his clutch shot.

Atlanta finished the second quarter on a 22-6 run to lead 53-42. James didn't score until he hit a jumper late in the first half.

Atlanta scored the first five points of the third quarter to stretch the lead to 58-42.

Hawks guard Kyle Korver did not travel to Cleveland after the birth of his third child Sunday.


Hawks: Korver is expected to play Wednesday night when Atlanta hosts Chicago ... Center Mike Muscala took a hard fall to the court after a dunk in the first quarter but remained in the game ... Forward Mike Scott (left knee) and center Tiago Splitter (right hamstring) remain sidelined, leaving Atlanta with 12 active players.

Cavaliers: Forward Tristan Thompson was scoreless with two rebounds in 25 minutes ... Guard J.R. Smith scored six points and was 2 of 13 from the field ... Cleveland Indians players Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley attended the game.

Quest for history

James is averaging just under a triple-double, leading to the question if he can do it for an entire season. "I don't want to say it's impossible, but if there is anyone who can average a triple-double in this day and age, it's LeBron," Budenholzer said.

Big man

Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue believes signing Dwight Howard is an important addition for Atlanta.

"The Hawks have a dominant post presence," Lue said. "Dwight is very physical. Sometimes he demands double-teams if he gets deep in the paint. He's going to drive fouls on your big men. They also have a shot blocker."


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