• My Scores
  • NFL
  • MLB
  • NHL
  • NBA

Atlanta at Cleveland

Hawks pull away from Cavs, improve to East-best 4-0

CBSSports.com wire reports

CLEVELAND -- There's still one perfect team in the Eastern Conference.

It's from the Deep South, loaded with young, improving stars and it just might be good enough to make a run at an NBA title.

Watch out, Miami.

The Atlanta Hawks could be gaining on you.

Marvin Williams scored 22 points, Al Horford muscled his way to 16 and 12 rebounds and the Hawks (4-0) remained the East's only undefeated team by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-88 on Tuesday night.

Jamal Crawford added 16 points and Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby had 15 apiece for the Hawks, who improved to 3-0 on the road and snapped a six-game losing streak in Cleveland.

Often overlooked in the increasingly tough and getting-better-every-year East, the Hawks are showing early signs they might be able to stay with the Heat, Celtics, Magic and Bulls this season. With a group that has grown together in recent years, Atlanta could be a dark horse in a crowded field.

"We're flying under the radar," Williams said. "I don't think anyone's upset about it. We know what we're capable of doing. We have confidence in ourselves. We have to show it every night."

More on Hawk at Cavs
Related links

J.J. Hickson scored a career-high 31 points and was playfully serenaded with "M-V-P" chants by Cleveland fans, who reserved that singing in the past for superstar LeBron James before he decided to move from Ohio to Florida this summer.

Mo Williams scored 12 in his season debut for the Cavs, who have dropped three straight since knocking off Boston in their season opener.

Williams was back after missing three games with a groin injury, but Cleveland was without forward Antawn Jamison, who is nursing a sore knee.

"We haven't been fully healthy, and with this team, we need everyone," Mo Williams said. "We just have to regroup."

After building a 17-point lead in the first half on a shooting tear, the Hawks cooled off and Cavs back in it with defense. Atlanta only led 89-84 with 5:35 left on a dunk by Horford, who signed a five-year, $60 million contract extension on Monday.

Cleveland had several chances to get closer, but with the Hawks paying extra attention to Hickson inside, the Cavs had to rely on their outside game and couldn't hit a big shot when they needed one. They went 1 for 8 on 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

Hickson's layup got the Cavaliers within 91-87 with 3:49 left, but Marvin Williams made two free throws and Horford, with no one to pass to at the top of the key, buried a 20-footer as the 24-second shot clock wound down to put the Hawks ahead by eight.

It may have been a bit messy down the stretch, but the Hawks found positives in holding on.

"We got off to a real good start and then we hit some adversity," Horford said. "That's a good sign. We were able to pull it out. We're handling situations better. Last year, this would have been a game we would have let slip away. We feel very confident."

Anthony Parker added 10 points and Anderson Varejao had 12 rebounds for Cleveland, still struggling to adapt to first-year coach Byron Scott's uptempo offense.

Down by 13 after one, the Cavs limited the Hawks to 19 points in the second quarter. Unfortunately, Cleveland gave up 40 in the first quarter when Atlanta, shooting better than 70 percent for much of the period, threatened to blow the Cavs out.

After Sacramento was able to easily penetrate the heart of Cleveland's defense for easy baskets in a comeback victory on Saturday, Scott put an emphasis on his team cutting off driving lanes to the Hawks, one of the league's most athletic squads.

Cleveland succeeded in doing that early on. Trouble was, the Hawks hardly missed a shot. Atlanta went 15 of 21 (71 percent) from the field in the first 12 minutes.

"I thought they hit some tough shots, but we had some defensive lapses as well," Scott said. "Then they got going and we still challenged shots, but they made them. You have to figure at some point that they are going to calm down and miss some."


  • Mo Williams missed Cleveland's first three games with a groin injury.
  • Horford's new deal locked up one of Atlanta's core players and prevented him from potentially becoming a restricted free agent next summer. Coach Larry Drew is pleased Horford's contract situation is resolved. "I'm glad that it's finalized and that he's going to be a Hawk for a long time," Drew said.
  • Scott said Williams will likely make his first start on Friday in Philadelphia.
  • Iron lung? Hawks radio announcer Steve Holman worked his 1,800th consecutive game, a streak that includes regular season and playoff games and dates to 1989.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Al Horford notches 16 points and 12 boards at the Q to help keep the Hawks unbeaten. (Getty Images)
Al Horford notches 16 points and 12 boards at the Q to help keep the Hawks unbeaten. (Getty Images)
Atlanta 4-0 «40191526100
Cleveland 1-32720261588
ATL:M. Williams 22 Pts
ATL:A. Horford 12 Reb
ATL:J. Johnson 9 Ast
CLE:J. Hickson 31 Pts
CLE:A. Varejao 12 Reb
CLE:A. Varejao 3 Ast
Players of the Game

J. Hickson

A. Horford

Related Video

September 8, 2016
Training Camp Preview: Atlanta Hawks (1:08)
July 14, 2016
Dwight Howard breaks down
July 11, 2016
Kent Bazemore talks Hawks
July 6, 2016
Charles Barkley on Dwight Howard
J. Johnson, SG426-212-269015
M. Williams, PF368-125-642222
J. Smith, SF353-110-211436
A. Horford, C317-132-2124316
M. Bibby, PG286-102-501215
J. Crawford, SG224-76-622116
J. Teague, PG170-52-22222
Z. Pachulia, C161-11-32033
J. Powell, PF132-41-24215
J. Collins, C20-00-00000
E. Thomas, CDid Not Play
M. Evans, SFDid Not Play
J. Crawford, SGDid Not Play
P. Sy, SFDid Not Play
Totals 37-8421-30432617100
A. Varejao, C341-60-012332
J. Moon, SF343-50-07236
A. Parker, SG324-100-032210
J. Hickson, PF3211-179-1150031
R. Sessions, PG222-93-43317
M. Williams, PG244-122-222312
D. Gibson, PG243-100-17256
J. Williams, SF152-20-01015
R. Hollins, C142-24-41148
L. Powe, PF80-11-43001
A. Jamison, PFDid Not Play
J. Graham, SFDid Not Play
C. Eyenga, SGDid Not Play
S. Samuels, PFDid Not Play
M. Harris, GDid Not Play
Totals 32-7419-2644152288
Other Games
Phi 115 Final
Wash 116
Bos 109 Final
Det 86
Min 97 Final
Miami 129
Orl 0 PPD
NY 0
Port 90 Final
Mil 76
Mem 105 Final
LAL 124