Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena.
The Hawks were duly warned not to take the Cavaliers lightly.
The message didn’t sink in.
The Hawks (9-5) lost a nine-point fourth-quarter lead and dropped a 113-111 decision, snapping a six-game win streak, at Philips Arena Friday night. Alonzo Gee’s rebound and put back of a Dion Waiters airballed 3-pointer with .4 seconds remaining gave the Cavaliers (4-12) the win, snapping their four-game losing streak.
“Ball watching,” Josh Smith said of his failure to box out Gee. “I didn’t make a conscious effort. I knew that Gee is aggressive going for the offensive rebound. That was a stop that we really needed. It was just messed up that it had to be my man to get the rebound and the put back. I’ll definitely make a conscious effort on the next team to box my man out every time.”
Hawks coach Larry Drew said he heard Smith tell his teammates following the game that the loss was on him. He disagreed. The Hawks were beaten badly on the boards all