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Game #33 - Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks Game Night Open Thread

2009/2010 NBA Regular Season
21-8 24-8
December 29, 2009
Philips Arena
7:00 PM et
Radio - WTAM 1100 / FOXSports HD
Probable starters:
Mike Bibby PG Mo Williams
Joe Johnson SG Anthony Parker
Marvin Williams SF LeBron James
Josh Smith PF J.J. Hickson
Al Horford C Shaquille O'Neal

Explosive offense against shut-down defense. The strengths of both teams will be put to the test when the Atlanta Hawks, averaging nearly 106 points per game, take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who allow just under 94. That's a 12 point difference, and the team that can stay closest to their average will likely win the game.

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Against the Rockets, Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 12 points in 17 minutes off the bench. With his next five points, Ilgauskas will surpass Brad Daugherty for second place on the Cavaliers' all-time scoring list with 10,390 points. Earlier this season, Ilgauskas became the team's all-time leader in games played and last season, became the franchise leader in rebounds and blocks.

Cleveland has won four straight games and nine of their last 10 contests. In those 10 games averaged 102.9 ppg while holding opponents to 92.7 ppg (+10.2 pt differential), while shooting .499 from the field compared to .418 for opponents.

After defeating the Rockets on Sunday 108-83 for the largest margin of victory on the season, the Cavaliers are 14-3 (.824) againstteams that had at least a .500-record the day of the game and 11-3 (.786) against the Western Conference, including winning sixof their last seven games. No team has been better or has less than 10 losses against the opposite conference since the beginning of last season than the Cavaliers, who have gone 37-7 (.841). The next best team is the Lakers at 31-10 (.756). (Elias)

In a back-to-back home and home series, Cleveland will face Atlanta for the first time this season after sweeping the Hawks in lastyear's playoffs. In the regular season, the Cavaliers have won two straight games over the Hawks and four straight games at The Q.Since 2003-04, the Cavaliers have the second highest winning percentage at 17-5, .773 against the Hawks with San Antonio 10-2(.833) the only team better. The Cavs have not allowed the Hawks to score 100 points at home since Dec. 28, 2004 - a span ofseven meetings, which is the team's longest active streak versus one opponent on the road. (STATS, Inc.)

Cleveland is now 7-0 this season when they hold opponents under .400 from the field including having done so in three straight gamesat home (New Jersey .390, Milwaukee .364, Houston .329). The team hasn't allowed an opponent to shoot at or above .500 percent from the field in 22 games, the NBA's longest active streak. They also haven't allowed an opponent to score more than100 points in 11 of their 18 road games this season, which is tied for 3rd most games in NBA. (STATS, Inc.)

After concluding their four-game Western road trip at 3-1 (.750), the Cavaliers are 12-6 (.667) on the road, which ranks fourth in the NBA. LeBron James leads the NBA in road scoring at 31.2 ppg and averages 7.3 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.6 steals.

Versus the Rockets Mo Williams scored 20 points on 7-13 (.538) shooting, including 4-6 (.667) from beyond the arc, and grabbed sixrebounds and dished five assists. Williams has now scored 20 points or more in four straight games, which ties his career long,for the second time, both as a Cavalier. His previous time was last season from Dec. 21-28, 2008. Williams has also made at least three three-pointers in four consecutive games and is shooting 13-21 (.619) from behind the arc in those games. Over the last fourgames, he is averaging 24.8 points on .542 shooting and 22-23 (.957) from the free throw line, 5.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 steal.Williams ranks 6th in three-point accuracy at .457 and 3rd in three-point field goals made with 75. From Dec. 21-27, Williams isthe only player in the NBA to have four or more games with 20+ points while shooting .500 in each game and on the season, hehas 10 of these games and joins other elite players to have double-figure games at these levels (Chris Bosh - 16, Carmelo Anthony - 16, Chris Kaman - 16, LeBron James - 16), Carlos Boozer - 15, Dirk Nowitzki - 14, Amar'e Stoudemire - 14). (Elias)

Against the Rockets, LeBron James tallied team-highs of 29 points and six assists, plus five rebounds and three steals. James has been the Eastern Conference's best scorer against Western Conference teams over the last three seasons at 28.5 ppg. For the season,James is averaging 28.8 points on .502 shooting, 7.8 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.4 steals. During the Cavs 10-game winning streakat The Q, he has averaged 25.5 points on .522 shooting, 6.5 rebounds and 9.1 assists.

The Cavaliers "Defensive Triangle" continues to be one of the NBA's best. The team ranks 4th in points allowed at 93.9 ppg, rank 2ndin defensive field goal percentage at .430 (Lakers - .429) and rank 5th in defensive three-point field goal percentage at .321. Cleveland is joined by the Celtics as the only teams that rank in the Top 5 in each major defensive category.

Offensively, Cleveland is the second best three-point shooting team at .422 (Phoenix) and ranks 5th in the NBA in field goal percentage at .482. The Cavaliers are 22-2 (.917) when they shoot at least .450 from the field, 13-0 when shooting at least .420from the behind the arc and 19-1 (.950) when hitting the century mark.