The Hawks give valiant effort in 135-130 loss to the Cavaliers

  • Hawks scored 100 points on a season-high .563 FG% (36-64) in the victory against Dallas. The Hawks are now 30-7 on the season when hitting the century mark and 14-3 when shooting at least .500 from the floor.
  • Atlanta recorded 12 steals versus the Mavericks and have now tallied 10-or-more thefts in two straight games and 20 times on the year (15-5).
  • Dennis Schröder is averaging 18.7 ppg (167), 6.3 apg (57), and 3.6 rpg (32), while shooting .464 FG% (64-138) over the last nine games, scoring in double-figures in each outing, including five 20-point nights.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. has extended his career-long streak with 15 consecutive games in double-figures from Jan. 25 – March 1.

March 3, 2017 marks the first day of an incredible four-day run of Atlanta sporting events. Tonight’s match against the Cavaliers kicked off the shenanigans which will be followed by Sunday’s match against the Pacers, Atlanta United’s first-ever MLS game against New York Red Bulls, and Monday night’s sell-out clash with Golden State.

A lot took place in tonight’s game: Atlanta welcomed the return of Kyle Korver and even honored him with a highlight video, Pete Maravich’s jersey was retired, and we were gifted with a match that saw a total of 265 points.

Cleveland's Kyrie Irving goes deep for three over Atlanta's Paul Millsap (Hakim Wright)
Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving goes deep for three over Atlanta’s Paul Millsap (Hakim Wright)

Korver ended the game with nine points, oddly enough, all 3-pointers. But unlike Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, his points were not commensurate with his minutes (9 points, 30 minutes). James had 38 points in 39 minutes while Irving had 43 points in 35 minutes.

With a score like 135-130 you’d think there was a lack of defense, but it was just the opposite. There were hacks, blocks, steals, and sadly more than a few turnovers which contributed to such a high-scoring affair.

The Hawks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. had 36 points in 35 minutes and unlike Dennis Schroder, had one turnover (Schroder had five).

Paul Millsap put up the usual, reliable Millsap numbers: 27 points, 9 rebounds, and a block for good measure. But the real surprise of the night was the Hawks’ recent trade acquisition.

Atlanta's Thabo Sefolosha drive through the lane passed LeBron James and Iman Shumpert (Hakim Wright)
Atlanta’s Thabo Sefolosha drive through the lane passed LeBron James and Iman Shumpert (Hakim Wright)

The Hawks traded away Tiago Splitter and got Ersan Ilyasova. Ilya, who most definitely made a name for himself tonight (quietly), shot 100% from the floor and the charity stripe. To top that off, he nabbed eight rebounds and played a big part in the Hawks comeback (at one point they were down by 30).

So Kyrie and LeBron combined for 81 points, Cleveland made a record 25 3-point shots, and out of Kyle Korver’s nine points, his last three came through when it counted.

So the Hawks lost 130-135 tonight and the only real silver lining from the game was how they picked themselves up in the 4th quarter. They cannot continue letting leads swell that large and think they can chip away at them come playoff time. There is a real possibility we will see Cleveland in the postseason and the well-oiled machine I saw tonight should scare any opponent.

-Jon J.

Photo: Hakim Wright

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