Atlanta Hawks stun Cleveland Cavaliers to end eight-game slide

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Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) has words with head coach Tyronn Lue as guard Dwyane Wade (9) looks on. Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) has words with head coach Tyronn Lue as guard Dwyane Wade (9) looks on. Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

CLEVELAND -- Whatever else happens to the Atlanta Hawks this season, they will always have this.

Dennis Schroder scored a season-high-tying 28 points, and the Hawks, depleted and losers of eight straight, beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-115 on Sunday afternoon.


The Hawks were without five rotation players and had not won since opening night. They have made no secret that this was to be a rebuilding year, and it was the Cavaliers who swept them out of two straight playoff series in 2015 and 2016 when Atlanta was a formidable Eastern Conference contender.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, are the reigning Eastern champs three times over, but they look nothing like their old selves, either.

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"(Cleveland is) a special place to play, and everyone was excited to compete against these guys," said Schroder, who scored 21 points in the second half and finished 8-for-8 from the foul line. "We did everything together. We were moving the ball and everyone was ready for it."

The Hawks built a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter but nearly let it slip away. Channing Frye missed an open 3-pointer off a pass from LeBron James with one second to go that would have won it for Cleveland, and Dwyane Wade's missed tip in at the buzzer would have tied it.


Frye, who finished with seven points, was finishing for Kevin Love, who left the game because of an illness in the third quarter and was sent to the Cleveland Clinic. He was released from the hospital later Sunday.

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"It's a (expletive) 3-pointer, I shoulda made it," Frye said. "You know, I think you get the opportunity to go out there, you've gotta make that shot, but, you know, if somebody wanted to bet me a million dollars I make 10 in a row, it just didn't go down that time."

Taurean Prince and Luke Babbitt added 17 points apiece for Atlanta, which had seven players score in double figures. John Collins contributed 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the Hawks (2-8), while Schroder dished out nine assists. Schroder's two free throws with 18.4 seconds left proved to be the difference.

Isaiah Taylor, who scored 14 off the bench for the Hawks, missed both free throws with 12.1 seconds remaining to give the Cavaliers that last chance.

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It was Taylor who raced the length of the floor in 4.5 seconds for a layup at the buzzer and a 91-78 Hawks' lead through three quarters.


"To get a win in Cleveland is not easy to do," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "They had a chance down the stretch where they got back in it, but I'm happy for our guys. It's a good win."

James scored 10 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter for the Cavaliers, who have lost five of their last six games. He added 13 assists. Kyle Korver scored 19 of his 23 points in the final quarter, too. Wade had 25 points, including 19 in the first half. Korver and Wade set season highs for points.

Cleveland (4-6) trailed by 16 when Wade entered the game in the first quarter.

"It's no secret we're starting games off awful," Wade said. "Terrible. And they got it going early and the effort or the focus just wasn't there to start off and you try to battle back, you waste a lot of energy trying to come back from 16-18 down and it's tough nightly to do this. And we all know this, it's no secret in this locker room, but our first unit, we got to start off better.


Love finished with four points and four fouls, shooting 1-for-6 from the field. He ripped his jersey in frustration in the second quarter and went to the locker room for a new one.

Atlanta made six 3-pointers and shot 13 of 18 from the field in the first quarter. The 37 points stand as the Hawks' highest-scoring quarter this season, a total they matched again in the third.

Cleveland cut its deficit to one in the second quarter, but the Hawks led 54-45 at halftime. The Cavaliers shot 2 of 16 from 3-point range through two quarters.

"I just think that every night we've got to respect our opponent and have a sense of urgency, not in the fourth quarter, not the last six minutes, but from start to finish," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "It's been happening over the course of the last four years."

NOTES: The Hawks were missing G Malcolm Delaney (sprained right ankle), F Ersan Ilyasova (left knee bruise), C Miles Plumlee (strained right quad), F DeAndre Bembry (broken right wrist), and F/C Mike Muscala (sprained left ankle). Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said only Delaney out of that group had a chance to play Monday against Boston. ... Cavaliers G Iman Shumpert (sore right knee) could play Tuesday against the Bucks, coach Tyronn Lue said. Sunday was Shumpert's fourth consecutive game missed due to injury. ... Cavaliers G Derrick Rose will remain on a minutes restriction all season, according to ESPN. Rose, with a history of injuries, can play between 28-31 minutes now. ...The Hawks signed F Tyler Cavanaugh to a two-way contract. Cavanaugh was already playing for Atlanta's G League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks. He checked into Sunday's game with 1:13 left in the first quarter for his NBA debut.


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