Atlanta Hawks: Cavs 113, Hawks 111 (updated)

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 night, losing the battle 49-28. The Hawks also couldn’t contain the Cavaliers’ dribble penetration. Guard Jeremy Pargo had 22 points and Waiters had 21 points as the Cavs played without star guard Kylie Irving (broken finger).

“Coming into the tunnel, I heard Josh Smith mention it was his fault,” Drew said. “He didn’t get the box out at the end. I said ‘Josh, you know what? It wasn’t your fault. That game should have never come down to the last play.’ If we would have shown up the way we are capable of, it wouldn’t have come down to the last play.”

Smith led six Hawks in double-figures with a game-high 25 points. Lou Williams had 18 points followed by Al Horford (11 rebounds) and Jeff Teague with 15, Devin Harris with 13 and DeShawn Stevenson with 12.

The Cavaliers erased a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit and took a 99-97 lead on a Daniel Gibson 3-pointer with 4:25 remaining. They went up by six points, 105-99, on six straight points by Pargo. The Hawks scored the next six points, a three-point play by Teague and a 3-pointer by Williams, to even the score with 1:16 remaining.

Anderson Varejao answered with an inside basket. After a wayward pass by Smith intended for Horford went out of bounds, Dion Waiters scored a layup to go up by four points with 25.5 seconds remaining.

Smith hit a 3-pointer with 18.1 seconds left to cut the lead to one point, 109-108. Varejao hit a pair of free throws with 15.8 remaining but Williams answered with a 3-pointer two seconds later to tie the game at 111-111.

“He made some shots,” Teague said of Pargo. “He’s a capable player. He got to the rim. It was just my fault he got to the rim. I’ve got to get on the pick-and-roll a lot faster. Some of those were lucky shots, I’m just going to say it. He hit a double pump 3-pointer. When a guy gets hot, a guy gets hot.”

Varejao led the Cavaliers with 20 points and 18 rebounds. It was the NBA’s leading rebounder’s 11th double-double of the season, including seven straight.

“They were really going after everything, a lot of long rebounds,” Horford said. “We just didn’t do a good enough job containing them. Even at the end of the game, that last play, Alonzo Gee creeping in there and getting that rebound that was the story of the game.

“I think this was a reality check for us in a way that we need to get back to work and get better on the defensive end.”

The Cavs led 54-50 with 3:30 remaining in the second quarter. Smith started a 17-2 run to close the first half with a 3-pointer. He scored the first seven points of the run. Ivan Johnson scored the last five points including a long-range 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Hawks a 67-56 lead.

The Hawks called a timeout with two seconds remaining in the half. Al Horford threw long to Johnson, who turned and dribbled twice and took the shot. He was mobbed by teammates as the Hawks scored 38 second-quarter points. The 67 first-half points was a season-high, besting the 58 points they scored in the win over the Kings.

“As I told the guys after the game, maybe we needed a game like this,” Drew said. “We’ve been home for a while. We dodged a couple of bullets with some teams. Washington came in here and we were in a similar scenario. Charlotte came in here in a similar scenario. Maybe we needed a game like this. I don’t know.”

The Hawks will take off Saturday and Sunday before returning to practice on Monday. They host the Nuggets on Wednesday and the Wizards on Friday to end a stretch of seven of eight games at home.

- Chris Vivlamore

74 comments Add your comment

Jae Evolution

November 30th, 2012
10:09 pm

Ferry should consider picking up recently waived McGuire and letting Tolliver go, dude would make most forget about James really quick with his overall hustle and work on the glass.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 30th, 2012
10:11 pm

This team’s problems begin and end with rebounding.

Needless to say, Josh’s non-box out on the final play cost them the game. Beyond that, Zaza had a bad game off the bench, and it would help if Ivan played more than 8 minutes. Normally if those two big men play well they help the Hawks stay competent on the boards.

Too much “matching up” by LD in the 4th quarter, as the Hawks struggled to score and defend. Who cares if the Cavs play 3 perimeter players. Ivan is more than capable of holding his own on the perimeter. The three-bigs lineup was the Hawks’ best defensive unit. He should have gone with that more in the 4th, even with the Cavs sliding Waiters at SF.

Honesty

November 30th, 2012
10:11 pm

We toyed with the Cavs the whole night and they made us pay in the end.

Legit teams don’t play down to the level of their competition. At least not enough to loose. Completely wasted the nice win streak because of effort issues. Mainly on defense.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 30th, 2012
10:15 pm

This is not Hawks-related, but Adrian Wojnarowski rips David Stern several new orifices in this column.

keith

November 30th, 2012
10:16 pm

This loss is more on our CENTER position, or LACK thereof…..We must not allow a scrubs like Varejao
and Neon Deon Waiters to dominate us???

Buddy Grizzard

November 30th, 2012
10:18 pm

Missed the game except a few minutes in the third quarter. Other than repeated blown layups by Zaza, how did we lose this one?

glw

November 30th, 2012
10:19 pm

Josh Smith is the most infuriating player. Some say he has low bball IQ, actually he just has poor basketball fundamentals. He has gotten by on god given ability all his life. But I saw at least 3 or 4 times where he just stands there and doesnt attempt to box out at all. LD will have to make a move soon. Either go big more regularly or get a sf that can help on the boards.

BIG DOG

November 30th, 2012
10:19 pm

LD continue to play small ball, HA

Hawks was out rebounded by 21 on boards.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

keith

November 30th, 2012
10:22 pm

Center needed and Head Coach needed asap.

BIG DOG

November 30th, 2012
10:23 pm

Zaza must starte every game, this what happen when you have a small back court and a small front court, JUST DAM

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

BIG DOG

November 30th, 2012
10:27 pm

GO DAWGS ROUGH ROUGH

DAWGS 27

TIDES 10

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Ghost Of Woody

November 30th, 2012
10:28 pm

Zaza was absolutely awful tonight, and him starting wouldn’t of matter this game at all. We simply got out hustled.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 30th, 2012
10:29 pm

Varejao leads the league in rebounding. He is not a scrub.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

November 30th, 2012
10:30 pm

The guards didn’t rebound that’s why we lost the game.

Sameba

November 30th, 2012
10:31 pm

Whenever Hawks start with a small lineup they have a very difficult game. When they start Big they mostly succeed. In the last case also Zaza plays always well. When he comes off the bench he is not very good.

tyler

November 30th, 2012
10:33 pm

Larry Drew is a scrub

Sameba

November 30th, 2012
10:35 pm

LD should stop matching up with everyone. Just play Hawks own game…

Sameba

November 30th, 2012
10:37 pm

Matching up with everyone just confuses players.

BIG DOG

November 30th, 2012
10:37 pm

Zaza would kept Anderson Varejao from dominating the boards, HA

Zaza is your best hope against players whom like to hustle around the rim, this is what Zaza do bang in the paint just like Varejao.

Let me say this if Zaza starte in this game Hawks win.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Man in Black

November 30th, 2012
10:38 pm

PLAY THE BIG LINEUP !!!!!!!!!!!

ZAZA – HORFORD – SMITH – TEAGUE – WILLIAMS

THATS THE STARTERS

Disgusted

November 30th, 2012
10:39 pm

We can’t rebound — the 9-4 start was fools gold.

Sameba

November 30th, 2012
10:43 pm

Enter your comments here

BIG DOG

November 30th, 2012
10:44 pm

By mid season Hawks will have a losing record if LD continue try match teams he play, soon or later this small ball will catch up with Hawks.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Sameba

November 30th, 2012
10:45 pm

BIG DOG:

Zaza would kept Anderson Varejao from dominating the boards, HA

————————————————————————————————–

Exactly!!!!

Jamaaliver

November 30th, 2012
10:49 pm

Varejao’s not a scrub. I’d take him over Josh any day of the week.

Slimjr

November 30th, 2012
11:05 pm

Ah Houston we may have to start the countdown clock again, standby!

Ah Roger that Eagle 1!

-21 in the rebound department? Your supposed to lose…

cp

November 30th, 2012
11:10 pm

The guards have to help on the glass. The guards are doing a terrible job at rebounding. Boxing out is something many of us on here have been complaining about for years. Guys rely on athleticism or let the ball come to them rather than putting a body on someone and grabbing the ball. We need to get a rebounder in here ASAP

Sameba

November 30th, 2012
11:12 pm

LD is coaching for himself, he wants to win at any cost. But when our rookies will develop? Why not play Jenkins today? Stevenson is not a real starter anyway, today he was -15 – the worst number on the team…

Slimjr

November 30th, 2012
11:12 pm

In other Basketball news around the league:

Woody had the lawn chair out tonight! Knicks win by 21..

Nets with 5 in a row are now tied 11-4 with the Knicks..

Both are .5 games behind Miami for 2nd place in the conference..

I just notice the standings and guess who has the best record in the West at 12-2?

Thats right, Rudy Gay and the Grizzlies! [8-1] @ home and [4-1] on the road! They are quietly killin folk!

They are for real!!

Slimjr

November 30th, 2012
11:18 pm

“Varejao led the Cavaliers with 20 points and 18 rebounds. It was the NBA’s leading rebounder’s 11th double-double of the season, including seven straight.”

A SCRUB?

Bath Salts are illegal Sir…

Imaging if AllStar Al or Josh put those nimbers up? Hmmmmmm

Jae Evolution

November 30th, 2012
11:20 pm

Another rebounder would definitely help but it’s absolutely inexcusable that our starting backcourt combines for ONE rebound. Teague plays 38 minutes and doesn’t come up with a SINGLE board, and Harris didn’t get his first one until I think the last minute of the game.

LD should be screaming at Jeff over the phone for not getting a single board in 38 minutes, it’s almost as sad as 6′7 Joe Johnson not getting a single rebound in 33 minutes…

Slimjr

November 30th, 2012
11:22 pm

Looks Joe and his Brooklyn Nets are starting to gel..They’ve won 8 of their last 10 games..

Memphis has won 9 of their last 10…

Pops should tell the godfather to go take a hike….

Slimjr

November 30th, 2012
11:27 pm

“LD should be screaming at Jeff over the phone for not getting a single board in 38 minutes, it’s almost as sad as 6′7 Joe Johnson not getting a single rebound in 33 minutes”

Larry does not have to scream at Jeff, scream at his two Allstar bigs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Both those guys should have pulled down 18 rebs each against the freaking Cavs?

Teague plays a different position and is a half a foot shorter than say it aint so Joe. Apples and Oranges

Smokey

November 30th, 2012
11:29 pm

Varejao knows his skill set and sticks to his role (no scrub), something a few of ours could learn from..

Sameba

November 30th, 2012
11:31 pm

I did not like how Teague plays last two games. Not enough leadership, mediocre defense, his (almost) deadly floater has disappeared etc etc etc…

Slimjr

November 30th, 2012
11:32 pm

Boy Larry, you sure could have used Damion James and Benson tonight.. Yes?

More of this to come for sure…..

Jae Evolution

November 30th, 2012
11:34 pm

Not every rebound is going to land in the paint, the guards HAVE to boxout and be ready to chase down long rebounds. A lot of Andy’s and Thompson’s ORebounds could have been limited had the guards been more aware and chased down the ball. Also you can’t give a guy a pass just because he is smaller, they have to rebound long shots off the rim and LD has to drive this point home all season or we will lose more games like this.

Sameba

November 30th, 2012
11:37 pm

Jae Evolution:

Correct, and here we should truly appreciate what KK brings to the table…

cp

November 30th, 2012
11:38 pm

Yea the guards definitely have to help. I mentioned this before the season started that the guards are going to have to step up rebounding wise. Too much standing around rather than going after the ball.

Slimjr

November 30th, 2012
11:39 pm

Kyle Korver hurry back will ya?

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

November 30th, 2012
11:44 pm

Blame everything on the guards.

Sameba

November 30th, 2012
11:47 pm

I still cannot get it: how Josh got standing behind that guy who scored last (Gee?). In fact, it should be exactly opposite…

ILL-Logical

November 30th, 2012
11:50 pm

Was at the game tonight- my first of the new season- and although the Hawks lost, I was entertained.
Last year, the Hawks would have quit and got blown out. Tonight they fought to the end . Yes, there were mistakes galore but the intensity in the last few minutes was palpable.

Going forward, inorder to compete with the top teams on a regular and consistent basis changes have to be made. Number one : got to get a rim protector! Love Zaza’s hustle but the guy is not what the Hawks need on defense and offense…. !!!! And if it takes moving Teague/ AS Al , so be it.
One game like tonights is not a reason to commit seppuku but facts is facts: Teague was not; is not and probably will not be a floor general. He has value but the Hawks NEEd afloor leader. AS Al is a good solid player but in 6 years has never developed his body, mind or spirit inorder to bang in the post or protect the rim. He also has value and maybe its time to explore just what it is and see who wants to exchange pieces in a win win scenario.

Jamaaliver

December 1st, 2012
12:01 am

Dude, coming into tonight AL was leading the team in rebounds, points and FG%. He’s the face of the franchise and a rock. You can put him down for a double-double like every night.

It’s Josh and his poor FG%, high turnovers, that needs to be moved. He’s too slow to be a SF and too small to be a PF. How does Josh not shut down Varejao?

Seriously.

Dwayne C

December 1st, 2012
12:05 am

The Atlanta Hawks = 50 losses this season. Count on it!

Rusty

December 1st, 2012
12:26 am

Again LD went with Harris & Williams for a long time in 4th quarter. We needed rebounding where was Ivan ? We had a decent lead going into the 4th,where the hell was JT. Why does LD let josh play such indiscipline basketball. I wouldn’t be surprised if plays out of timeouts were due to the assistant coaches,I’m sure that LD would still take credit for them. LD is always blameless in his post game interviews.

Rusty

December 1st, 2012
12:40 am

I really think LD gives JT mixed signals game to game. Tonight he seemed to let the offense run way to much thr josh. I noticed that JT had plus min & Harris had negative min,why was JT sitting on the bench for most of the forth quarter.

Rusty

December 1st, 2012
1:50 am

It appears that many of the bloggers are missing this year,have they lost interest?

Grandad

December 1st, 2012
1:56 am

I`m infuriated !

LD:
” I said ‘Josh, you know what? It wasn’t your fault.”
Bull … blankety blank blank shux !
Yes it was !
That`s LD`s whole problem … no … blankin … accountabity !
Josh lost the game by failure to execute a simple fundamental.
Just like the rest of the team does not execute simple fundamentals.

Earlier in the game Josh did not meet his pass;
it was promptly intercepted and the Cavs dunked on the other end.

“Always win the next play every time” … G`Dad

Horford had AV wrapped up / he was the biggest threat;
Al did a great job / however, his great effort on Varajao went to waste.
For LD to excuse Josh = next time someone will not make the great play.
Suddnly there is more than one breakdown !
No excuses.

Another thing :
My 9 yr old grandson was watching the game with me;
at about the 4 min mark, he goes:
“why doesn`t he have # 44 in the game”.
Once again – he`s only 9 yrs old !

Now … is this all about Josh being the goat … only partly.
Is Al the Hero = No … not my point.
Josh will win games for you and he will lose games for you.
The Larger point : !
LD and not holding certain players accountable.

AND – what about our guards … They are QUICK right ?
Then why can`t they stay between anybody and the basket ?

Final BullC r a p statement:
“Maybe we needed a game like this. I don’t know”

Needed a game like … what … charity / give it away /
no attn to detail / get killed on the boards / what ?

LD says JJenkins cannot play def or some such excuse.
Heck-fire give him a try – he can`t do any worse.
___________________________________________

* note *
This rant was not to discredit Josh while glorifying Al.
Not at all.
Make sure all who read understand my message.
____________________________________________

Yeah I`m mad because I see and I understand what`s missing.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

December 1st, 2012
2:01 am