The Cleveland Cavaliers did not have an easy start last night, and could never quite catch up to a first half, 11-point deficit. They played the Atlanta Hawks who have been playoff opponents for the past two years. This Atlanta Hawks team features very different personnel, including Dwight Howard, and two exceptional players in Kent Bazemore, and Dennis Schroder. The Hawks held LeBron James to only two points while shooting 20% in the first half, while keeping JR Smith at only three points. The addition of Dwight Howard added a massive presence in the paint, and left the double-double machine, Tristan Thompson with only two rebounds throughout the whole game. The second half is when the momentum shifted, and the Cavaliers began to get revitalized. LeBron led the way with 16 points in the third quarter, and had a game changing and-one layup that was delivered from a Kyrie Irving crafty assist. The big three had a huge mark on the game with a combined 76 points, but not enough to cap off the win. The biggest bright spot throughout the game was the consistent effort and play from Kevin Love, who ended the game with 24 points and 12 rebounds.
The Cavaliers are 11-0 against the Hawks in their two postseason matchups, and have entirely dominated the Hawks from behind the arc. In game one of the matchup last year, they broke the all-time record in the regular and post-season for three pointers made in a game with 25. This was not the case last night while they shot a measly 26% from behind the arc, with 42 three pointers attempted. The biggest area that needed improvement was the rebounding, and it was apparent during the whole game. The Cavs gave up 17 rebounds to Dwight Howard and the Hawks outrebounded them by 11 boards as well. Despite the loss, the Cavaliers only had 6 turnovers to the Hawks 19, so positives can definitely be drawn from this game. The Cavs next game will be on the road against the Washington Wizards this Friday, November 11th at 7 PM. For more information on the Cavaliers, make sure that you stay updated with our website, and we will continue to bring all of the Cavs stats and info that you need.
This is a short post-game soundbite from coach Tyronn Lue, discussing the decision to not foul in the final seconds of the game.