Cavs top Hawks for 10th straight win
ATLANTA -- Cleveland's defense wasn't what it had been during most of the team's winning streak, but effective 3-point shooting was enough to carry the Cavaliers past the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night.
The Cavaliers made a season-best 18 3-pointers in 39 attempts and defeated the Hawks 121-114 for their 10th consecutive victory.
Kevin Love had 25 points and 16 rebounds, and LeBron James had 24 points and 12 assists as Cleveland (15-7) held on for the victory despite a scare from the Hawks.
Atlanta, down by 12 points late in the third quarter, closed within 113-112 on two free throws by Ersan Ilyasova, but James hit a 3-pointer with just under two minutes left to help the Cavaliers regain control.
Dennis Schroeder had 27 points to lead the Hawks (4-17), and Ilyasova scored 22.
Cleveland went on an 8-0 run after halftime and outscored the Hawks 36-23 in the period to take a 99-90 lead. The Cavaliers made 7 of 13 3-point attempts in the quarter and shot 61.9 percent overall in the period.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak by the Cavaliers to the Hawks, who led by 16 points in the first quarter and won 117-115 at Cleveland on Nov. 5.
The Cavaliers, who started the season 5-7, got back on track thanks in part to their improved defense. They held four of their previous five opponents to less than 100 points.
The Hawks, down 42-35 after the first quarter, led by as many as nine points in the second quarter and were up 67-63 at halftime thanks to 55.6 percent shooting.
Schroeder had 11 of his 17 first-half points in the second quarter, while Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli combined for 23 points off the bench, 16 of them coming in the second quarter.
James, not missing a shot, had 13 first-half points, with 11 coming in the first quarter. The Cavaliers shot 66.7 percent in the opening quarter, but dropped to 33.3 percent in the second as they went 1-for-8 from behind the 3-point arc after starting the game 7-for-9.
NOTES: Cavaliers backup G Iman Shumpert will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Friday. He has missed five of the past six games, playing seven minutes at Philadelphia on Monday before the knee swelled again. ... Hawks starting C Dewayne Dedmon will be sidelined for three to six weeks after an MRI on Wednesday revealed a stress reaction in his left tibia. ... Rookie F/C John Collins moved over to replace Dedmon with F Luke Babbitt returning after missing three games because of a back strain. ... Collins had 13 points and seven rebounds before hurting his left shoulder late in the fourth quarter. ... Hawks F/C Mike Muscala (ankle) remains sidelined. ...Cavaliers F LeBron James passed Alex English, who had 10,659 field goals, for 10th on the all-time list. ... The Cavaliers play Memphis at home on Saturday. ... The Hawks are at Brooklyn on Saturday and then play the Nets in Atlanta on Monday.