CLEVELAND — Atlanta Hawks guard Shelvin Mack set career highs in both points and 3-pointers in a thorough beating of the Cleveland Cavaliers by a final score of 127-98 on Wednesday.
Mack shot 6 of 6 on 3-pointers and scored 24 points after entering the night with just nine 3-pointers and shooting 20 percent from behind the line. Center Al Horford scored 20 points and forward Paul Millsap had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks, who shot a season-best 65 percent and have now beaten the Bulls and Cavs in consecutive games — the two teams still considered to be the best in the East.
The Hawks, winners of 11 of their last 12, lost at Cleveland last month when the Cavs made a franchise-record 19 3-pointers and rolled to a 33-point win. The Hawks returned the favor Wednesday by making a season-best 16 3-pointers without point guard and leading scorer Jeff Teague, who missed the game with a sore hamstring.
Guard Dennis Schroder had 10 points and 10 assists in place of Teague and forward Mike Scott had 15 points off the bench for the Hawks.
Forward LeBron James scored 21 points and forward Kevin Love had 13 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Cavs, who lost for the first time in their last nine games against the East and the first time at home in nearly a month. The Cavs even led 50-38 midway through the second quarter Wednesday before the defense crumbled and the Hawks enjoyed open looks across the floor. The Hawks scored a combined 69 points between the second and third quarters to take command, opening a 31-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Guard Dion Waiters scored 21 points off the bench and guard Kyrie Irving had nine points and six assists for the Cavs. James is now three points shy of tying Charles Barkley (23,757) for 23rd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
NOTES: The Hawks were beaten by 31 points in a game at Cleveland last month. The Cavs began that night making nine consecutive 3-pointers. “We put in a special request that they don’t do that again,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer joked. … G Dennis Schroder started in place of Jeff Teague (hamstring) at point guard. … G Kyrie Irving is the only player in the league averaging at least 20 points, 5.0 assists and less than two turnovers per game. … Cavs G Mike Miller missed his seventh consecutive game on Wednesday. He has been cleared of his concussion, which forced him to miss the first six games, but coach David Blatt said Miller still has a stiff neck. “Honestly, he really could’ve got out there,” Blatt said. “We just decided to give it one more day.”
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