The Atlanta Hawks were in Cleveland on Monday evening to take on the Cavaliers. They were not able to come out with the victory, losing 114-102.
Both teams are coming off victories before meeting each other, with the Cavaliers recently defeating the depleted Miami Heat last night. The Hawks were without De’Andre Hunter, which led to AJ Griffin drawing the first start of his career.
The Hawks started the game off firing from deep, as the big three of Tre Young, Dejounte Murray, and John Collins got things going.
The Cavaliers had an answer of their own, plus more to add on to that. The backcourt of Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell combined for 24 of the Cavaliers’ 38 points in the quarter, while the Hawks struggled to contain them and create some offense of their own.
It was the Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu show to start the second quarter as they traded buckets and brought the Hawks within three points after being down as much as eight.
Johnson also showed off his playmaking skills with this pass to Griffin.
The team started to get more settled on offense, sharing the ball and creating easy looks. The defense improved as well, although there were times when the Hawks gave up some easy buckets.
Griffin knocked down this rainbow three to cut the Hawks deficit to three points again in the quarter.
Defense to offense led to an easy breakout layup for Young down the stretch of the court, To head into halftime, the Hawks trailed 64-59, which was better than how they ended the first quarter.
The third quarter was once again a strong one for the Hawks, as they came out on a 12-2 run, hitting a number of threes and getting to their spots in the mid-range.
Although the Hawks were on a roll, the Cavaliers were still in striking distance, and they eventually took the lead back late in the quarter. Young increased his point total with his patent floater.
Defense was huge for both teams in the third, as it was their lowest-scoring quarter of the game. Going into the fourth, the Hawks trailed 85-82.
The Hawks were not able to grab that same momentum they had to start the third quarter, but the Cavaliers did on the other hand. They went on an 11-5 run to extend their lead to nine points, as the Hawks searched for answers on both sides of the ball. Murray was able to cut down the Hawks’ deficit despite struggling from the field for most of the game.
Late in the fourth, the Hawks made some crucial buckets to keep themselves close, but a clear path foul on Collins gave the Cavaliers the momentum they needed. It was a call that changed the game and ended up being a 5-point possession for the Cavaliers. From there they never looked back and took control for the rest of the game.
Young finished with 25 points and 10 assists, Okongwu finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Griffin finished with 17 points, and Collins finished with 16 points.
The Hawks will be back at home on Wednesday to take on the Sacramento Kings.