Everything works as Hawks stun Cavs for 117-115 victory
Yes Hawks fans that score is correct! Atlanta finally put together a complete game both offensively and defensively and earned their 2nd victory of the year! Coming into Cleveland boasting a 1-8 record (8 loss losing streak) and facing a Cavaliers team that has had it’s fair share of ups and downs this season with a 4-5 record, Atlanta looked to make a statement.
In doing so, Atlanta ran out to a 16 point lead courtesy of early 3’s by Babbitt, Prince, and Bazemore that set the tone for the entire game. With everything going Atlanta’s way, the Hawks ended the 1st quarter with a Atlanta 37- Cleveland 28 lead.
As the 2nd quarter got underway, Cleveland began to chip away at the 9 point lead and got it within 1 with 5 minutes remaining but could never seize the lead. With the youngsters (John Collins and Isaiah Taylor) coming on strong, Atlanta pushed back and went into halftime holding a Atlanta 54- Cleveland 45 lead.
With an interesting 2nd half underway, Atlanta matched Cleveland basket for basket and began raining 3 pointers that continued to fall extending the Hawks lead minute by minute! Coming up on 4 minutes left to play in the 3rd quarter, surprisingly, Atlanta steadily held their own and pushed their lead to 15. Every time Cleveland would make a run, Atlanta would counter with a big time 3 that didn’t allow them to get back into the game. After 3 quarters the lead was Atlanta 91- Cleveland 78.
Atlanta now only 12 minutes away from a shocking victory against a team that has ended their season 3 years in a row, looked to hold strong. After 9 minutes of play, Atlanta held a 110-101 lead but went ice-cold in the final 2 minutes that allowed Cleveland to creep back into the game late. Multiple 3’s by Cleveland allowed them to get within 4 points with 25 seconds remaining. After 2 missed free throws by youngster, Isaiah Thomas, gave Cleveland one final shot to tie but were unable to connect on back to back 3 attempts and Atlanta was saved by the buzzer “so to speak.” Atlanta 117- Cleveland 115
Atlanta now heads home to face a red hot Boston Celtics team who has won 8 straight. Game is set for 7:30 at the Philips Arena!
Luke Babbitt: 6-13 FG 4-8 3PT 17 points
Dennis Schroder: 9-13 FG 28 points 9 assists
John Collins: 3-10 FG 12 points 13 rebounds