Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 102, Cavaliers 94 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from Cleveland.

As the Hawks prepared for the opening tipoff against the Cavaliers, Josh Smith pointed at Jeff Teague. It was a meaningful gesture as if to tell the point guard ‘It starts with you.’

Did it ever.

Teague scored a career-high 27 points, including 14 in the first half, as the Hawks rallied late for a 102-94 victory over the Cavaliers Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Hawks (18-9) scored the final points of the game, after trailing 94-93, to pull out their third straight win. They got a basket by Teague, a basket and two free throws from Al Horford and a 3-pointer from Kyle Korver to seal the hard-fought victory.

Smith and Teague revealed little about what is a pre-game ritual.

“He always says ‘C’mon, energy, effort,’” Teague said. “That’s our thing.”

Smith would not give details. However, he didn’t hesitate to state the importance of Teague.

“It’s something that we have going,” Smith said. “It’s between me and him. As he goes, in all seriousness, whenever he is aggressive on both ends of the floor it sets the tone for us and we are a successful team. He understands now. He’s coming into his own. He understands where we need him to be.”

The Hawks, playing short-handed, also got double-figure scoring from Lou Williams (16 points), Horford (16), Anthony Tolliver (13) and Korver (11). Teague also had eight assists and two steals and Horford finished with 11 rebounds.

The Hawks were without Ivan Johnson (stomach illness) and Devin Harris (sore left foot). They lost Anthony Morrow (strained right hip muscle) for the second half. They then lost Smith (strained right hip flexor) for the fourth quarter. Coach Larry Drew said he was tempted to use DeShawn Stevenson, resting for Saturday’s back-to-back game against the Pacers.

“The guys who came off the bench did a phenomenal job,” Drew said.

The Hawks led 55-54 at halftime despite leading by as many as 11 points in the second quarter. They used a 14-3 run in the second quarter to take control early. Much of the 11-point lead was built with bench players including Tolliver, Morrow, Zaza Pachulia and Mike Scott. Tolliver had 11 points in the second quarter, including two 3-pointers, with four rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot.

The Cavaliers closed the gap to a single point at intermission with a 15-5 run highlighted by Irving’s crazy running 3-pointer at the buzzer. Waiters and Irving combined for 13 of the points in the run.

“We were just playing hard,” Tolliver said of the bench play. “We all went out there and said ‘We have nothing to lose.’ Let’s play hard and play together. That’s what we did. We made some shots, we created shots for each other and got the good lead.”

The Cavaliers (7-24) had their two-game win streak snapped. Irving scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Cavaliers and Dion Waiters added 18 points.

His hair was there but Anderson Varejao was not. The Cavaliers played without the NBA’s leading rebounder on ‘Anderson Varejao Wig Night’ in Cleveland.

The Cavaliers kept the momentum following intermission and went on a 14-4 run to start the third quarter. They opened a nine-point lead, 68-59, before the Hawks made a run of their own. Aided by two straight 3-pointers from Korver and one each by Williams and Teague they briefly regained lead. The Cavaliers scored the final six points, four on free throws by Alonzo Gee, and took an 80-75 lead into the final quarter.

However, the Hawks outscored the Cavaliers 27-14 in the fourth quarter.

“It was a good example of youth versus experience,” Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. “If you don’t know what I mean, the last three minutes of the game the Hawks did a heck of a job running their offense and getting the ball into the paint and we just settled for bad jump shots.”

Teague was 11 of 19 from the field, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range.

“I didn’t say a word to him,” Drew said of Teague. “I would like to take credit for it but, no, I’m not going to do it. He just came out and played. He played with the energy and the intensity I’ve always said when he plays with that type of energy he makes us a much better ball club. He came out and took the challenge.”

The win avenges the November loss at Philips Arena when the Hawks failed to hold a nine-point fourth-quarter lead.

The Cavaliers lost guard Daniel Gibson in the second quarter with a concussion after he took an inadvertent hand to the face by Morrow.

- Chris Vivlamore

LATEST NEWS

* Drew acknowledges Smith’s ‘poor shot selection’ late vs. Pistons

* Johnson doubtful vs. Cavs with stomach illness

* Drew speaks to Teague about energy level

* Hawks 126, Pistons 119 (2OT)

* Williams remains in starting lineup

* Is Josh Smith an All-Star?

* Hawks 92, Bulls 75

* Williams to start vs. Bulls

* Sixers 99, Hawks 80

* Harris out vs. Sixers

* Hawks have lost two of past three

* Williams ready for return to Philadelphia

* Thunder 100, Hawks 92

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @AJCHAWKS

164 comments Add your comment

Fleetwood B

December 28th, 2012
9:50 pm

Nice win Hawks!!!

High-sider

December 28th, 2012
9:51 pm

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

December 28th, 2012
9:52 pm

This win was a group effort. Props to Teague.

High-sider

December 28th, 2012
9:52 pm

Looks like MIA will lose tonight. Hawks will gain “ground” on the Heat in the East.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 28th, 2012
9:53 pm

Will Bynum dropped 25 and 10 on the Heat tonight in a Pistons win. No Wade, though.

Fleetwood B

December 28th, 2012
9:53 pm

I guess Teague got the energy memo. Maybe LD will finally unleash him?

Najeh Davenpoop

December 28th, 2012
9:53 pm

I’m pretty sure Mike Glenn just said “syphilis” instead of “selfless” on the postgame show.

Melvin

December 28th, 2012
9:53 pm

Pistons beat the Heat and Will Bynum lit them up for 25…

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
9:53 pm

Najeh, I disagree with your assessment of the Nets roster FTPB. A debate for another day/night.

Teague gets another “revenge match” tomorrow with George Hill. Keep on your big boy pants, Jeff, your hometown will be watching you tomorrow night.

cp

December 28th, 2012
9:55 pm

Good win. Nice to see guys who dont play a lot come in and contribute.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 28th, 2012
9:58 pm

LD says Josh aggravated his hip flexor near the end of the 3rd quarter.

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
9:58 pm

Josh with a “hip plexor” problem.

Blast

December 28th, 2012
9:58 pm

Any blogger that advocates that Teague should be traded from now on should be banned from this blog. Teague is the point guard Hawks have been looking for since Mookie Blaylock. He can score, steal, assist, and even block shots as well as playing good defence. With more playing time, this dude will be a star in this league. Two games in a row, he has won for Atlanta.

Y’all leave Teague alone. He went up head to head with the no. 1 draft pick, and got his team the win. Great road win, folks!

Blast

December 28th, 2012
10:01 pm

Josh is a warrior, he will be fine. He stunk tonight, but did get 5 awesome blocks, so you cannot discount that, even though he stunk on offense.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 28th, 2012
10:03 pm

Oh yeah, and props to my second least favorite Hawk Anthony Tolliver on a very good game.

Blast

December 28th, 2012
10:04 pm

And y’all complain about Hawks almost losing to the Pistons, but those same Pistons just beat the World Champs. Say it again, any NBA team can beat any NBA team if they don’t come prepared.

Melvin

December 28th, 2012
10:12 pm

Watching the Spurs/Rockets game. The league may need to drug test Tim Duncan. I swear he found the fountain of youth this summer.

Please Answer This

December 28th, 2012
10:16 pm

The regular season is a bit of a joke, anywhow.

However it can shed light on two aspects which teams must posess in order to win a ‘chip or advance deep into the playoffs.

1. The ability to get buckets when a game is on the line.

2. The ability to lockdown defensively (or prevent buckets) when games are on the line.

If the game is not very close in the final 1-2 minutes, a win or loss says nothing important about a team on a cold night in late dec – march.

Big Daddy

December 28th, 2012
10:24 pm

The HAWKS played a great game. Jeff continues to develop into the player many of us always knew he would be if given the chance. LD cannot deny the contribution he made the last couple of games and how he is beginning to really assert himself. I just hope he does not get down on himself if he has a bad game. GO HAWKS!!!!

Sautee

December 28th, 2012
10:42 pm

Missed all but the last 4 minutes (friend’s wedding) but Rod and slimjr got me thinking about Horford and a lack of taking charges on D. So here’s what I found:

http://hoopdata.com/defrebstats.aspx

According to hoopdata, the league average rate of charges taken is 0.13/ gm.

Horford is at 0.15

Josh is 0.30

So, while Horford is half as active as Josh, he apparently DOES draw charges every now and then, and above the league average, at that.

I’ll have to say that I was VERY surprised. I would have thought that he was below average at that particular skill.

Sometimes perception is NOT reality. If these stats are to be believed, anyway.

Sautee

December 28th, 2012
10:48 pm

BTW, on the hoopdata link, you’ll need to go to page 2 to find Horford’s stats.

Jamaaliver

December 28th, 2012
10:55 pm

Hey, Slim. Looks like All-Star Josh really took that talk with LDrew to heart. LD says watch your shot selection, Josh puts up even more jumpers than usual and hits shoots 17% from the field.

BTW, AL had his 3rd straight double-double and is avg 19 pts & 10 rebs since that ‘mini slump’.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 28th, 2012
10:59 pm

Only 6 NBA teams have better winning percentages right now than the Hawks’ .667, and the Hawks have beaten 3 of those 6 teams.

Honesty

December 28th, 2012
11:00 pm

Knicks getting drubbed by 20 in Sacramento without Carmelo. If they loose they loose this game we will be tied in the loss column with them.

[...] …Cleveland Cavaliers give up 9-0 run to end game in 102-94 loss to Atlanta HawksPlain DealerAtlanta Hawks: Hawks 102, Cavaliers 94Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Teague leads Hawks past Cavaliers, 102-94Huffington PostSoaring [...]

Rusty

December 28th, 2012
11:06 pm

The only thing that can stop JT from be coming an all star is LD why did Lou get 11 more minutes last game than JT & 5 more minutes than Jeff in this game. LD will cost us games against the better teams with his lousy management of substitutions

Rusty

December 28th, 2012
11:11 pm

LD cooked that up with Joah because he looked so stupid with trying to make JT look like a scrape goat when JT won the game for himm.LD looked like he was trying to lose the game by playing Lou at PG for most of the 4th quarter.

O'Brien

December 28th, 2012
11:38 pm

Did not see the game, but good to see the Hawks finish strong (+13 in the fourth). And props to Tolliver, who played well. And Teague played with the energy LD mentioned. No reason he cant do it more consistently.

It appears Josh played well on defense (5 blocks), and 6 assists would be nice if it wasnt for the 5 turnovers. What is frustrating about Josh though, is LD talked to him after the Pistons game (2 nights ago) about his shot selection. And what does he do tonight? 9 of his 12 shots are outside the paint (and he only made one of them).

I didnt see the game, so maybe others can comment.

KevinM

December 28th, 2012
11:39 pm

I just think Zaza makes a difference at the end of games.

This should be the norm going forward for us. Zaza proved his worth last year.

O'Brien

December 28th, 2012
11:40 pm

slim,

Whats up with your Knicks tonight? No Carmelo, and they are are down 21 to Sacramento at the half? Ouch.

And good to see the Pistons beat the Heat

Honesty

December 28th, 2012
11:40 pm

Knicks starting to come back. Only down by 13 now…

KevinM

December 28th, 2012
11:41 pm

OB, the Hawks didn’t miss Josh in the 4th and Al appeared gimpy as well.

Teague, Korver, and even the new JJ hit big jumpers for us at critical times.

O'Brien

December 28th, 2012
11:42 pm

And everything I have seen from Jenkins suggests that Morrow should be traded at the deadline, and Jenkins should get his minutes.

O'Brien

December 28th, 2012
11:44 pm

KevinM,

Josh is in a major funk. 2 for his last 19. Hopefully he gets healthy quick. But if he is hurt, I hope Ivan gets healthy quick.

KevinM

December 28th, 2012
11:45 pm

LD says Teagues played ‘extremely well’.

Teague will help LD with an opportunity to return at HC going forward.

KevinM

December 28th, 2012
11:48 pm

OB, I like having Morrow on our side. The guy gives us good shooting depth should we lose someone.

Cleveland is a bad team. This was a big win.

Honesty

December 28th, 2012
11:50 pm

Knicks down by seven at the end of the 3rd smh…

KevinM

December 28th, 2012
11:50 pm

Korver > Hinrich’s entire Hawk career. Good swap.

Honesty

December 28th, 2012
11:51 pm

Plus morrow can play some SF as well.

Grandad

December 28th, 2012
11:51 pm

Rusty

Please document your source.

“LD cooked that up with Joah”
*assuming you meant Josh

From whom did you garner that information.

I doubt you are seriously making such an outlandish allegation,
however, you are prone to come on this board
and make statements w/o backup.

I understand your hatred of LD & your man crush on Teaguer.
However, are you allowing one cloud your judgement of the other
to the point of fabricating fairy tales in your mind.

Rev in Tampa

December 28th, 2012
11:53 pm

Sorry I missed JT’s apparently brilliant game. I know there will be many more. I hope he can bring it consistently.

Rev in Tampa

December 28th, 2012
11:56 pm

Grandad,

Where is your son coaching? If you want to keep it private then e-mail me.

I had dinner with the assistant coach at Covenant College. I asked him if he knew your son. I thought your son was coaching at LaGrange, but as I thought about it I realized he played at LaGrange rather than coached.

Slimjr

December 28th, 2012
11:58 pm

NO Anderson Varejao? The Cavaliers played without the NBA’s leading rebounder? Whew.. Imagine the Hawks missing one of their starting Bigs? Nothing easy for this squad..

OB, the Knicks are missing their 28.3 point per game scorer. What gives in your mind Sir? Huh?

Imagine if the Hawks lost Josh..

Take the win even against a 7-24 scrub.

Rev in Tampa

December 29th, 2012
12:01 am

Slim,

Am I remembering correctly that the Hawks beat the Thunder without Josh earlier this year?

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
12:03 am

Fascinating Stat Sautee. That is surprising

doc

December 29th, 2012
12:04 am

najeh agree on a couple of things. the hawks continue to win and surprise. i suggested 19-10 and no worse than 18-11 at new years. by gosh they might make me a prophet. yes, competition not too good. problem with that argument is as you point out we have beaten 3 of the 6 with better records. sure doubters will come forward and make excuses for winning as stupid as it sounds, excuses for winning? again, looking down the road, there are few worrisome teams left to play, i say we can only beat when they are way off and we are way on. no, not suggesting they win out but should continue to surprise. heard someone on a national show suggest hawks might be the surprise team of the second half.

the nets have very poor depth. they need to stick to a 7 or 8 man rotation and our bench is better. stack playing major minutes either suggests how bad avery was judging talent or a severe lack of back ups. whoever said avery should be commended for pulling stack out of mothballs and reviving his career as a slam to ld needs to really check their own head. it was one of the signs that led me to say it was going to get ugly when the nets a few weeks back started showing signs of strain form the start they had. woody was robbed on that one for sure for com.

big game tomorrow night. never want to say i am ok with a loss but if they follow it up with a win before the new year then i am satisfied with the progress these guys are making.

cudos to teague for busting through the 25 point barrier for the first time on 223 games.

doc

December 29th, 2012
12:07 am

yes, no fan of tolliver but he was cooking there for a while. in the zone and everywhere. good for him.

Rev in Tampa

December 29th, 2012
12:09 am

Sautee,

I’d be interested to know at what rate forward/centers take charges compared to guards. It would seem to me that forward/centers would be in a better position to take charges than guards. So it would seem that with Al being just above average, he might really be below average.

doc

December 29th, 2012
12:15 am

let me reverse that. let them win tomorrow at home and if they drop one in houston so be it. not many wins ever in texas.

KevinM

December 29th, 2012
12:15 am

I remember discussing about how Tolliver could help us at the 3 with Marvin being shipped out and there were folks here who said he had on 3 pt shot.
I don’t know, I think Tolliver has a very good face up game. And LD is going to give him minutes to prove it.