With 6.9 seconds left in overtime, Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague pushed the ball up the court with his team down two. He dished passed, with a big smile on his face, to Al Horford at the top of the key. Horford took a three-pointer in rhythm over the outstretched arm of Kyrie Irving, but it clanked off the back of the rim, giving the Cleveland Cavaliers an 110-108 win.
LeBron James led the Cavs with 29 points and he also pulled down 16 rebounds and dished out nine assists. Irving added 20 points - eight of which came from the three throw line - and Kevin Love added 15. LeBron also passed Oscar Robertson for 11th all-time in scoring with a made basket in the third quarter.Paul Millsap lead the Hawks with 29 points while Teague added 28.
In the first half, the Cavs came out rolling and moved the ball consistently. As a result, the Hawks' defense was often off kilter and the Cavs took a 14-point lead into the half. In the first 12 minutes, the Cavs racked up 16 assists and appeared fully in control of the game.
The Hawks, though, came out quickly to start the second half and went on 8-2 over the first 1:40 of the third quarter to cut the Cavs' lead down to eight. In the same time frame, the Cavs' ball movement went stagnate.
For a moment, it looked as if the Cavs were going to pull away for good and with 9:22 left in the fourth quarter, the Cavs lead by 11. But Atlanta outscored the Cavs 23-12 the rest of the way before both teams had a chance to win it at the end.
For the Cavs, LeBron attacked in isolation, but took a bad fadeaway jumper that clanked off the rim. On the other end, Teague had the ball stolen from him by Iman Shumpert at the buzzer as the Hawks didn't come out with a play out of their timeout.
In overtime, the teams traded baskets for most of the five minutes. The Cavs took a one-point lead with 35.7 seconds left when LeBron split a pair of free throws to give the Cavs a 105-104 lead. Millsap missed a jumper on the next possession, LeBron grabbed the rebound and the Cavs were able to call a timeout before Atlanta could foul him. Out of the timeout, Irving took the clock down to 18.8 before being fouled and extending the Cavs' lead to three. With a foul to give, Matthew Dellavedova fouled Kent Bazemore on the next possession and the Hawks called a timeout.
They then settled for a quick Millsap two and Irving went to the free throw again after being fouled out the timeout. Irving then made one of two free throws before Teague went the length of the court to set up Horford's missed three. LeBron pulled down his 16th rebound and flung it across the court as the Cavs escaped with a win.
With the Raptors also winning on Friday, the Cleveland still holds a 2.5 game lead over the Toronto for the East's No. 1 seed. The Cavs next play Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets. Tipoff is at 3:30 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.