NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Cleveland
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson netted a game-high 28 points as the undermanned Atlanta Hawks rolled over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 103-87, at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Hawks were without forwards Marvin Williams (hip), Vladimir Radmanovic (back) and Al Horford (torn pectoral muscle) and guards Willie Green (hamstring) and Jannero Pargo (stomach flu), but still earned their second straight victory.
Jeff Teague added 18 points and Kirk Hinrich had 14, while Zaza Pachulia pulled down 12 rebounds in the Hawks' sixth consecutive victory over Cleveland.
"It was very important for us to get out to a good start and sustain for 48 minutes," said Johnson.
Alonzo Gee paced the Cavaliers with 20 points and Kyrie Irving recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists as Cleveland dropped its third straight contest.
Cleveland opened the game with back-to-back baskets by Irving and Anthony Parker, but it was all Hawks from there as Johnson scored the next seven points in a 9-0 run that put Atlanta ahead for good.
Gee's three-pointer snapped the spurt and brought the Cavaliers within two, 9-7, but Atlanta responded with a 10-4 swing to jump out to a 19-11 advantage.
Cleveland fought back with a Gee dunk followed by Irving's floater to close its gap to four with less than four minutes left in the opening frame, but the Hawks outscored Cleveland by a mark of 12-4 over the remainder of the first and held a 31-19 lead heading into the second quarter.
Atlanta kept rolling in the second, connecting on 61.9 percent of its shots and holding at least an 11-point advantage through the entire frame en route to a 59-45 lead at the break.
The Hawks led by as much as 19 in the third quarter as they cruised through the first six minutes, but after Hinrich's three-pointer put Atlanta ahead, 72-54, Cleveland surged back with a 14-2 run to close its gap to 74-68 on Antawn Jamison's layup within the final minute.
Johnson, though, connected on a runner to give Atlanta a 76-68 lead after three and Atlanta recorded the fourth quarter's first six points to regain a 14-point advantage, 82-68.
The Cavs never threatened again as the Hawks led by double digits for the rest of the game.
"I thought in the first quarter, they came out and as we would say, 'punched us in the mouth' and I don't think we ever really responded after that," Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott said. " I thought they came out very aggressive from the start. We didn't come out aggressive enough. That's the bottom line."