Everyone thought it would be a breeze for Cleveland. Cleveland thought it would be a breeze for Cleveland. But just 48 hours prior to today’s match, the Hawks beat them in Ohio by double digits.
The entire game looked like a tale of revenge for the Cavaliers… Until the 4th quarter happened. The 4th quarter is where the story of tonight’s match truly begins. It’s where the Cavaliers blew a 26 point lead to lose to the Hawks in overtime for the second straight game.
LeBron James, even with his triple-double performance, was unable to carry his team when they needed it most. He would eventually foul out in overtime (and arguably, Kevin Love should’ve too).
Paul Millsap not only hit the buzzer-beater to take the game to overtime, he led the team with 22 points and shot 100% from the charity stripe (11/11 in FT). It seems like just a few months ago the club was looking to offload him during the trade frenzy. With the way he’s been performing in 2017 they might want to rethink things a bit.
What’s most impressive about tonight’s match, is that you could truly see the Hawks come together as a team when it counted. Now granted, you won’t be able to roll the dice like that come playoff time but it worked tonight. The real story of “team” shows when you see the points leader for the Cavs put up 45 (Kyrie Irving) while Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 22 and had six players with at least 10 points or more.
The collapse of the Cavaliers is as untimely as it could be. With this epic breakdown, they’re now tied with the Boston Celtics and could very well lose the #1 seed in the playoffs.
Photo: Hakim Wright