Glenn Robinson scored 20 points and the Hawks held off the
league's worst team 96-91 Friday night for their fourth win in five
Cleveland, which never led after the first quarter, pulled
within one point a couple of times in the final two minutes. The
Cavaliers couldn't regain the lead, however, fittingly squandering
their last chance with a turnover.
"I was glad we were able to learn from a win instead of learn
from a loss," Atlanta coach Terry Stotts said. "I can't say that
I'm happy overall with the way we played."
Atlanta has put together its most successful stretch in a
largely dismal season, following up a 97-83 win at Philadelphia.
The Hawks didn't play nearly as well in this one, committing 18
turnovers, shooting just 44 percent and struggling to the finish
with a 9-38 team.
"We're shooting ourselves in the foot," Theo Ratliff said.
"There was a big difference in how we played against Philly and
how we played against Cleveland."
Still, with trade talks swirling around, the Hawks are finally
showing signs of life.
"We've got to play every game like it's the last one," Jason
Terry said. "There's a lot of trade rumors. I like playing with
these guys. If it's me that's traded, I want to go out with a
Smush Parker came up with a steal and passed to Jumaine Jones
for a layup that made it 90-89 with 1:49 remaining, but Terry hit
two free throws to stretch the margin back to three.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas countered with two free throws of his own,
pulling Cleveland to 92-91, and the Cavaliers had a chance to go
ahead after Dion Glover was called for an offensive foul.
Darius Miles got a good look from the top of the key, but his
jumper rimmed out with 45 seconds left. The Hawks ran down the shot
clock before Glover drew a foul backing into the lane. He made both
free throws with 21.9 seconds to go.
Cleveland never got a chance to tie it up with a 3-pointer. The
Hawks tightened up around the arc, and Ratliff knocked the ball
away when Parker attempted to go inside to Ilgauskas. Robinson was
fouled and made both free throws with 7.9 seconds left to finish
off the Cavaliers.
Ratliff took advantage of Parker's inexperience.
"He's a rookie," the Atlanta center said. "He got a little
flustered and kind of lobbed the ball in there. I was trying to
play (Ilgauskas) hard and not let him just catch the ball."
Ilgauskas led Cleveland with 21 points, while Jones gave the
Cavs a boost from the outside by hitting three 3-pointers and
finishing with 15 points.
Terry, who missed the previous game with a sore hip, returned to
score 17 points.
Cleveland has dropped eight of nine to maintain the worst record
in the league.
"These guys played the way we wanted them to," said coach
Keith Smart, who dropped to 1-4 since taking over for the fired
John Lucas. "They got us back in the game. We had a chance."
The teams were playing for the second time in six days. At
Cleveland, Atlanta defeated the Cavaliers 102-101 in overtime last
"Nothing's going our way," Ilgauskas said. "We're playing
better. You can see the improvement. We're not getting blown out by
20 points in the fourth quarter."
Played before a sparse crowd that was generously announced at
9,704, the game lived down to the reputation of its two teams.
One sequence was especially telling. Ratliff had his shot
blocked, and Glover unwisely saved the ball right to Cleveland's
Ricky Davis while stumbling out of bounds. Davis took off the other
way, only to throw a long pass out of bounds when his team had a
clear edge in numbers.
Cleveland had 22 turnovers, including nine for Davis.
The Hawks have won four straight at home over the
Cavaliers. ... The Cavaliers' last lead came on Jones' dunk with
1:03 left in the first period, putting his team ahead 27-26. ...
Cleveland outrebounded the Hawks 46-35. Carlos Boozer led with 10