After a good win against the Washington Wizards, the Atlanta Hawks traveled up to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers. While in Cleveland, the Hawks learned that they would be without backup point guard Jannero Pargo because he has to undergo an appendectomy. Once again the Hawks started the game with their small lineup and it still looks like its working. Early in the game the Hawks had good ball movement and a hot Joe Johnson. Johnson scored the first seven points for Atlanta and finished with 13 to round out the quarter. Capitalizing on what Joe was able to do the Hawks led after the first quarter 31-19.
That lead would continue to grow with the "Bench Squad" in the game, bringing the advantage up to 17 at one point in the second quarter. That number would be too great for the Cavaliers to overcome even though they would make runs to try to get back into the game the Hawks would answer the bell and roll on to win 103-87.
For Cleveland, rookie point guard Kyrie Irving would earn his first double-double netting 19 points and 10 assists. Alonzo Gee led the Cavs with 20 points and nine rebounds and veteran Antawn Jamison added 17 points and 7 rebounds.
Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 28 points, shooting 11-16 from the floor and making three out of four three pointers. Jeff Teague played like he wanted to welcome Kyrie Irving to the NBA scoring 18 points, 13 came in the second half. Teague's backcourt mate Kirk Hinrich scored 14 points and Ivan Johnson dropped in 10 from off the bench. Josh Smith fell short of a triple double scoring seven points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Zaza Pachulia had 12 boards to put up with his nine points.
The Hawks come back home to play the Boston Celtics before they have to see the Cavaliers again down in Atlanta and then also play host to the New Jersey Nets. Keep looking for the "small ball" that Atlanta is playing because the players like it and it seems to work. Coach Larry Drew gets credit in my book for being able to come up with creative ways to keep this team producing wins.
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