Mar 19, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (2) drives to the basket during the second half against the New Jersey Nets at the Prudential Center. Cleveland Cavaliers defeat the New Jersey Nets 105-100. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
It feels like we just watched the Cavaliers face off against the Hawks. That's because we did, on Sunday. Thanks lockout shortened season! It was a pretty ugly game with Tristan Thompson's first career start being marked by being tossed all around the paint by Zaza Pachulia.
Nothing easy, am I right?
But tonight was different! This was the Cavaliers first game without Ryan Hollins, so they'd presumably be going extra hard in honor of their fallen comrade. And they were playing in Hotlanta! The Highlight Factory! You know who likes highlights? Kyrie Irving. Tristan Thompson was coming off a career high 27 point game and would be looking to shove Zaza around a bit to even things up.
So did they do it? Did the Cavs steal one in the ATL? Let's turn to Twitter and break things down quarter by quarter:
As the Cavaliers pull away early, the man behind CavsZine remarks on Chris Grant's astute choices in picking guys looked over by other teams with a little inside joke for those of us lucky enough to have gotten our grubby little mitts on a copy of CavsZine2. You didn't get a copy? For shame. For those of you not keeping track, currently Donald Sloan, Manny Harris, Alonzo Gee and Samardo Samuels make up the Cavaliers core of undrafted talent. Not too shabby, Mr. Grant. Not shabby at all. Especially when that group can put you up 15 over the sixth team in the East.
Apparently Semih Erden hasn't gotten wind of his new nickname yet. Mr. Knappenberger sent this one out early in the second, foreshadowing how things go. By the end of the second, the Hawks have pulled to within one. Things are beginning to look hairy.
Words to live by from the Akron Beacon Journals beat writer. Don't lose your drawers kids. It's bad juju.
The Hawks come out swinging to start the second half. To retaliate, Kyrie Irving shuts the Hawks mascot up with a bounce pass that was actually meant for old man Anthony Parker who was more than a few steps behind. Despite their sloppy, sometimes lazy play, the Cavaliers end with a narrow, one point lead thanks to a slick jumper from Kyrie.
God, I love that kid.
We've seen it multiple times this season. The game's on the line and Kyrie carves through the defense to seal the win with mere seconds left on the clock. However, unlike those times, this is immediately followed by old man Anthony Parker totally lapsing on D and letting Joe Johnson get a buzzer beater three in to send things into OT. #BuyOutAP. Please.
Wait a minute, how'd that get there? Oh God, that's not right at all. Let's try this again:
I GO HARD NOW's resident stats nerd Charty McGraph sums up what every Cavs fan was thinking when Tristan Thompson was sent to the line for two clutch free throws. If he makes both, the game would have been tied and going into double OT. Unfortunately, he only made one, which allowed the Hawks to take this contest, 103 to 102.