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Cavs top Hawks Box
Â CAVALIERS 110, HAWKS 96: Fast getaway for James gang
Â The Hawksâ€™ 110-96 loss was as much about their tired legs â€”- they were playing less than 24 hours after grinding out an 88-83 home win over Charlotte â€”- as it was about the drive of the James gang.
Cleveland had the Hawks down 11 points early in the game, increased the lead to 23 before halftime, stretched it to as many as 28 in the second half and cruised to its seventh consecutive home win.
The Hawks fell to 8-5 on the season and evened their road record at 4-4.
â€œFirst quarter, we came out of the box very lethargic, and you could tell we played last night,â€ Woodson said. â€œBut Iâ€™m not going to use it as an excuse. Everybody plays back-to-backs. Weâ€™ve got a number of them as we continue our season. Weâ€™ve got to get ready to play on back-to-backs.â€
The Hawks labored just trying to stay in the game after the first few minutes, the fatigue showing most on captain and All-Star Joe Johnson (season-low four points on 1-for-8 shooting), who played on a sore toe on his right foot that required extra attention in the training room before the game.
The truth is the Hawks have played at least a man, or two, down since the fourth game of the season, when Josh Smith landed awkwardly on Zaza Pachuliaâ€™s foot and suffered a high ankle sprain that has kept him out of the lineup since Nov. 7.
“We are trying to become a complete team,” said West. “We are trying to be more than just a one man show. We need contributions from everybody, we can’t wait for LeBron to go on a run and try feed off of him. Guys are trying to take the initiative. Guys are doing it this year, going out there and playing basketball and trying to have a balanced attack this year.”
Maurice Evans had 21 points off the bench to pace Atlanta, whose two-game win streak was snapped. Acie Law, also off the bench, finished with 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Hawks.
“We just couldn’t make any shots,” said Atlanta’s Joe Johnson, who was limited to four points on 1-of-8 shooting. “I just thought our ball movement wasn’t great and that results into a lot of poor shots and a lot of bad shots.”
The Cavaliers started the contest with 11 straight points, with West beginning the run with a three-pointer and ending it with a jumper almost four minutes into the first quarter.