The Atlanta Hawks bounced back in a big way from Friday's loss to the Philadelphia 76ers by blowing out the Cleveland Cavaliers 121-94 Saturday night at Philips Arena. The win comes just one night after coach Larry Drew accused his team of quitting in the third quarter of the loss to the Sixers.
Those wondering how the Hawks would respond were treated to a clinic in ball movement as the Atlanta offense hit on all cylinders Saturday night. Atlanta used an 18-6 run to close the first half up 61-42. In recent games, Drew had been critical of how his team had gotten off to slow starts in the second half. Saturday night he challenged his club and the result was a 14-4 run to start the second half to further bury the Cavaliers.
Joe Johnson was red hot from the field hitting 10-18 shots for a game-high 25 points. Jeff Teague and Jannero Pargo finished with 14 points each and Zaza Pachulia added 13. Atlanta piled up 31 assists in the game and five different players finished with at least four.
Kyrie Irving had an up and down game for the Cavaliers with 18 points on 8-10 shooting but was saddled with seven turnovers. The turnovers were a big problem for the Cavs who piled 20 in the game. Tristan Thompson added 16 points and Alonzo Gee 14 for the Cavaliers.
With the win, Atlanta improves to 12-5 this season and is set to embark on a five game road trip that will close out the month of January.
For more on this game Hawks fans should head on over to Peachtree Hoops and Cavs fans should stop by Fear The Sword. For more NBA basketball news and analysis be sure to check out SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.