Atlanta Hawks: Cavaliers 99, Hawks 83 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

CLEVELAND — Once again the Hawks dug themselves too deep a hole.

This is becoming a bad trend – a very bad trend.

After falling behind by 19 points, the Hawks staggered home on a four-game losing streak following Wednesday’s 99-83 loss to the injury-riddled Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Hawks (20-14) have lost five of their past six. Their latest defeat came one day after the fell behind by 17 points at the Timberwolves before a furious comeback fell short. Their third-place standing in the Eastern Conference is gone. They have lost two games since having a team meeting aimed at resolving their issues of late.

Coach Larry Drew adjusted his lineup, starting Zaza Pachulia at center, but perhaps more changes are in store for the struggling Hawks.

“I’m a little concerned,” Drew said. “Anytime you go through a little bump in the road you have to look at your team, look at what you are doing and try to find some answers. We go home now and (Thursday) is a day where we are going to have to look for some answers. Maybe I need to shake up the lineup a little more. Maybe I need to do some things differently. I’ve got to do something to get this team jump started again and I will.”

The Cavaliers (9-28) won the season series against the Hawks (2-1) despite missing four players – Anderson Varejao (knee surgery), C.J. Miles (back), Daniel Gibson (concussion) and Luke Walton (personal). The margin of victory was easily the biggest of the season.

Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 33 points, 18 in the third quarter, to lead the Cavaliers. Cleveland now has just one home victory in each month of the season. Their last home victory came Dec. 11 against the Lakers.

“It’s just bad that on the streak we are going he had to have a game like that against us,” Josh Smith said of Irving.

Smith had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks. He missed two free throws with five minutes remaining, one an air ball, that punctuated the loss for the Hawks. Jeff Teague finished with 15 points.

“Right now things are going too well for us,” Smith said. “We understand that. … It’s a marathon not a sprint. You are going to have stretches like this during the season. I’m just hope it’s earlier rather than later.”

The Hawks erased a nine-point halftime deficit by starting the third quarter on an 11-2 run to tie the game at 51-51. Teague scored seven of the points in the run. Up to that point, Teague had seven points and seven fouls in the past one and a half games. The rally was short-lived as the Cavaliers answered with an 11-2 run of their own.

By the end of the quarter the Cavaliers held a 14-point advantage thanks to Irving, who scored his team’s last 12.

The Cavaliers took a 49-40 into halftime as the Hawks struggled from the field in the second quarter. The Hawks shot just 22.7 percent (5 of 22) and scored just 12 points in the period. Smith and Al Horford were each 1 of 6.

“It’s hard to fall behind like that,” Horford said. “I think that for some reason or another we have really low energy as a team. I think we spend too much time trying to fight back. I don’t think it has anything to do with anything that we are doing wrong. I just think the energy is not all there. It has to be all there. All of us have to be doing it together and that’s not the case.”

The Hawks shot 68.4 percent (13 of 19) in the opening quarter. They still trailed by a point, 29-28, as seven of the Cavaliers’ 11 field goals were 3-pointers. The final long-range shot from Irving came at the first-quarter buzzer.

The Hawks attempted just five free throws in the game, making two. Drew said once again his team settled for too many jump shots.

- Chris Vivlamore

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FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @AJCHAWKS

134 comments Add your comment

High-sider

January 9th, 2013
9:04 pm

Slimjr

January 9th, 2013
9:04 pm

High-sider

January 9th, 2013
9:04 pm

Slimjr

January 9th, 2013
9:05 pm

Slimjr

January 9th, 2013
9:05 pm

Astro Joe

January 9th, 2013
9:05 pm

DAMN, the game is still being played!

High-sider

January 9th, 2013
9:06 pm

At least I was “first” tonight. That’s about the only thing positive I can come up with.

cp

January 9th, 2013
9:06 pm

Our all star big only had 4 boards, no production from the bench, only 5 free throw attempts but Im sure most of the comments will be to trade Josh and Teague. These two get more criticism than any other players on the team it seems. And as much as people get on Teague about his defense, Lou got destroyed out there tonight and it didnt matter who he was guarding.

Mookie Blaylock

January 9th, 2013
9:07 pm

illuminati sh*t right here…..This was posted before the game ended.

Slimjr

January 9th, 2013
9:07 pm

Blowout by the Cavs?

INEXCUSABLE!!!!!

6-8 LAST 14..

YES THE WHEELS HAVE FALLEN OFF..FOR SURE!

IT ONLY GETS WORSE…

Slimjr

January 9th, 2013
9:09 pm

Soft Al with 1 foul..

keith

January 9th, 2013
9:09 pm

TIME TO BREAK UP THE REST OF THE REMAINING CORE SCRUBS….

Big Al Jefferson…Paul Milsap…..and Derrick Favors will be in the Highlight factory Friday night to “CRUSH” our Soft A$$ Bigs!!!!

CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nate ArchiBALL

January 9th, 2013
9:10 pm

Cav guards 55 Hawks guards 37

cp

January 9th, 2013
9:10 pm

It needs to be a practice devoted to boxing out and passing the pg the ball on the break.

Astro Joe

January 9th, 2013
9:10 pm

cp, I think Al tweeked something after the 1st quarter. If not, then he deserves all the criticism that will surely come his way. But if you wacthed him closely, he wasn’t moving very well during the 2nd half.

Good to see Teague play well. LD showed him some love by keeping him as a starter tonight.

Slimjr

January 9th, 2013
9:11 pm

Their guards were superior

Their Bigs were superior

Game, set, and match..

But it was a MORAL VICTORY right ALLSTAR? zzzzzzzzzzz

Najeh Davenpoop

January 9th, 2013
9:12 pm

The Hawks are 6-8 in their last 14 games, dating back to December 15.

During that streak, they have scored 96 ppg and have given up 99.1 ppg. They have been outscored on average by 3.1 ppg during that streak.

8 of those 14 games have come against teams that are currently out of the playoffs. They are 4-4 in those games, and 2-4 against teams that are currently in the playoffs.

This is worse than just average. This is lottery-caliber right now.

Rev in Tampa

January 9th, 2013
9:13 pm

Its ludicrous to talk about firing Larry Drew only days after being named coach of the month, but it will make me feel better to contemplate it anyway.

Which will get the louder cheer for Danny Ferry from Hawks’ fans:
1. Trading Joe Johnson
2. Trading Marvin Williams
3. Firing Larry Drew

Slimjr

January 9th, 2013
9:13 pm

They don’t count seconds…Technically its tied…

time stamp says 9:04pm

Hehehehehe

Najeh Davenpoop

January 9th, 2013
9:14 pm

The Hawks’ -3.1 margin over the last 14 games would rank 22nd in the league if it was their season margin, right between the Raptors and the Magic.

Rod from College Park

January 9th, 2013
9:14 pm

“Soft Al with 1 foul..”

LOL. And no free throw attempts.

cp

January 9th, 2013
9:15 pm

Astro maybe he was hurt but he did not do a good job of boxing out at all.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 9th, 2013
9:15 pm

Hawks are the 6th best team in the league at making 3s, and the 3rd worst team at defending the 3. Tonight: Hawks 7/22 (31.8%); Cavs 12/23 (52.2%).

Mookie Blaylock

January 9th, 2013
9:15 pm

4. Getting rid of Josh and Al

keith

January 9th, 2013
9:16 pm

Right Now….as bad as we are playing, the Los Angeles Lakers are probably the only team we could beat…and that’s even iffy…

Astro Joe

January 9th, 2013
9:16 pm

I wonder if fans of the Cavs who may have listened to our announcer team were annoyed with ‘Nique’s commentary while the Cavs were dismantling the Hawks?

Najeh Davenpoop

January 9th, 2013
9:18 pm

The Jazz are on their way to a double digit win over the Bobcats. That will be their first win of the season without Marvin. They are 1-4 without Marvin and will face the Hawks on Friday without him in the lineup.

vic

January 9th, 2013
9:19 pm

Atlanta has the worst coach in the league, and has for the last few years. Nothing will get any better until LD and Josh are out of Atlanta.

Dfan

January 9th, 2013
9:19 pm

Duck Butt gonna drop 30 on the Hawks, then Joe gonna drop 40 on em.

Knicks_Fan_In_Gwinnett

January 9th, 2013
9:19 pm

Talent of Atlanta Rappers > Hawks Basketball

Najeh Davenpoop

January 9th, 2013
9:19 pm

Not only did Al’s subpar performance not help the Hawks today, but it is also putting a serious damper on my effort to upset Astro Joe’s fantasy team.

Rod from College Park

January 9th, 2013
9:20 pm

“cp, I think Al tweeked something after the 1st quarter. If not, then he deserves all the criticism that will surely come his way. But if you wacthed him closely, he wasn’t moving very well during the 2nd half.”

Interesting. Did not know you worked for the Hawks training staff. LOL.

Astro Joe

January 9th, 2013
9:21 pm

cp, yeah, he needs to test to see if LD will still bench him if he gets 2 fouls in the first half (like LD did in Al’s last healthy season).

Najeh Davenpoop

January 9th, 2013
9:21 pm

Talent of Atlanta rappers > all basketball as long as Andre 3000 and Big Boi are still alive.

vava74

January 9th, 2013
9:21 pm

Teague did not play particularly well but he was half decent.

Lou played like crap on both ends and was abused by Irving.

Josh started well when he was playing SF and was working in the post (with some outside shots too) and his block did matter since we got possession on at least 3 of them.

The problem was when he stopped playing to his strengths and got wild.

That happened with Zaza on the bench when LD went small in the second quarter.

Also, if are going to give minutes to JJ2. – which I am all for it – you need to do it with a PG which passes him the ball.

I don’t think Lou has passed the rock to JJ2 more than 3 or 4 times in total…

Al was horrible. Unbearable to watch. Horrible body language, not an ounce of spunk on him.

LouWill83

January 9th, 2013
9:22 pm

Who thinks there might be a chance we wont make the playoffs this year?

vava74

January 9th, 2013
9:22 pm

Good night everyone. 2.22 am over here. Need to get on my feet at 7.30.

O'brien

January 9th, 2013
9:23 pm

So how come Josh’s air ball FT gets so little mention? Is it because he “tried” to make it? If that was Al, the blog would have erupted, and said LD needs to call Al out on missing FTs.

keith

January 9th, 2013
9:24 pm

http://basketball.realgm.com/tradechecker/saved_trade/6200750

Josh Smith and Anthony Morrow to Denver for Corey Brewer, Wilson Chandler, and Anthony Randolph……..

Win-win for both Organizations going forward…..

bamaboy

January 9th, 2013
9:25 pm

I seen Al reach and touch a player instead of fouling , look like fighting Irish against bama .Al is soft Jeff is scared Josh is dumb Larry is stupid Al is soft and the hawks is done

LouWill83

January 9th, 2013
9:26 pm

Josh Smtih and Al Horford for Robert Sacre

keith

January 9th, 2013
9:26 pm

GET YOUR POPCORN READY………………

Big Al Jefferson…Paul Milsap…..and Derrick Favors will be in the Highlight factory Friday night to “CRUSH” our Soft A$$ Bigs!!!!

CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Slimjr

January 9th, 2013
9:26 pm

LOL at Rev!

The Jazz are going to have a tough game against the Hawks at Phillips..

These Hawks are going to make them wish they had called in sick..

I can dream can’t I?

O'brien

January 9th, 2013
9:26 pm

MsDee,

Not sure if you saw the game, but if you did, you would see Al refuse to step up and challenge shots in the paint, (and he wouldn’t even foul them). Al is playing soft.

vava74

January 9th, 2013
9:27 pm

Still had time to check it:

http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20130109&game=ATLCLE

JJ2 only played about 1 minute with Teague. Another great move by LD: pair the defensively challenged rookie with the shoot first and defensively challenged PG (Lou).

Yeah!

Rod from College Park

January 9th, 2013
9:29 pm

“So how come Josh’s air ball FT gets so little mention? Is it because he “tried” to make it? If that was Al, the blog would have erupted, and said LD needs to call Al out on missing FTs.”

Maybe because Al never got to the line.

Astro Joe

January 9th, 2013
9:30 pm

Horford had 35 rebounds in the 3 games prior to this one, where he produced 5. And he shot a couple of air balls, which does not happen very often. Again, if he didn’t tweak something and he was just tired, soft or weak… then have at it. i just find it strange that he would go from a ~12 rebound/game average in his last 3 games to suddenly disappearing if it wasn’t a physical issue.

cp

January 9th, 2013
9:31 pm

Yea it seems no matter how much evidence LD has that Lou is better as a scoring guard rather than playing point he still goes with it even with Harris back tonight. Lou’s defense tonight brought back memories of Bibby.

O'brien

January 9th, 2013
9:33 pm

When woody was here, his plan B was to try harder at plan A. LD’s plan A and and plan B is to play with more energy.

Slimjr

January 9th, 2013
9:33 pm

So the Hawks have fallen to a 5th seed? Chicago and Indiana have past them by.

The Nets are only a half game behind…They are now 6-1 with a 4 game winning streak after jettisoning their Coach[Danny are you paying attention]! Oh Boy!

The Bucks are only 2.5 games behind the Hawks and closing..Just Brutal….