(SL) -The Atlanta Hawks had to face another one of their former teammates Friday night when they hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers and welcomed back their former sharpshooter Kyle Korver. After getting over the shock of being traded and getting adjusted to the Cavs’ offense being traded may have been the best thing to happen to Kyle and a subtle regret for Atlanta.
With Cleveland, all Kyle has to do is shoot. Long gone are the days of running around chasing shots, making it easier for him to do his job. Korver is shooting 50% from the 3-point line and he flexed that muscle against the team he used to drain shots for and helped Lebron James and Kyrie Irving lead Cleveland to a 135-130 win.
The main question for the Hawks…where was the defense? It was almost non-existent in the first half giving up 22 points to Lebron and 23 to Kyrie. Granted the Hawks shot 55% in the first have, but the Cavs were solid with 63%. You can’t make mistakes against a team like the Cavs. At the half, Cleveland led (77-60).
Start of the second half and whether or not the Cavs were trying to make a statement is debatable. However, they’re just that good so it’s easier to surmise that they were just playing their game.
Two quick 3s and the punishment would continue. Emotions were already running high, but when Lebron James gave Kent Bazemore a little elbow to back him up and Baze was called for the foul, Coach Bud went ballistic.
The technical foul would in a sense give the Hawks a late spark and in the 4th qtr they were successful in shutting down the Cavs’ 3-point shooting and opening the door for Tim Hardaway Jr. pick up where they left off. He was 5-9 from the arc with 36 points for the night.
The Hawks, who were down by more than 20 at one point had pulled within a 3 point deficit and the threat of overtime was hanging threateningly over the Cleveland’s head. But the Cavs would hold on and victory was theirs.
Paul Millsap also chipped in 27 for Atlanta. But Kyrie Irving and Lebron James would be the high men of the night with 43 and 38 respectively. Great effort but no cigar. Next up the Cavs meet another former teammate, Jeff Teague, when they host Indiana on Sunday.