The Cavaliers were looking to close out a strong November with another win to keep their streak alive. After their poor defensive first half, it looked like Cleveland was going to drop another ugly game to Atlanta and end their winning streak to 10 games.
LeBron James and the Cavs came out of the locker room after halftime with more energy and interest and were able to pull away late from the Hawks for the win. Cleveland finishes the month of November with a 12-3 record and looking much better on both ends of the court.
On Thursday night, Kevin Love and James led the way for Cleveland, with both having an efficient night on the offensive end. Love finished with 25 points on 7-of-16 shooting and 16 rebounds. He was also a team-high plus-12 in the box score.
LeBron started off the night 7-of-7, ended the night with 24 points and 12 assists. After his post-game rant about the officiating on his drives on Tuesday, James did get to the line seven times tonight.
Jeff Green was huge off the bench for Cleveland, and he took the starting spot from Jose Calderon in the second half. Green added 12 points and was a plus-eight, while using his athleticism on the defensive end. Wade continued his roll off the bench, scoring 19 points, while only attempting 11 shots. Cedi Osman also found meaningful minutes in this game, playing 11 minutes and scoring five points,.
On the other side, Dennis Schroeder and Ersan Ilyasova tried to rally the Hawks for an upset win, but didn’t have enough down the stretch to pull it out. The duo combined for 49 points on over 65 percent shooting.
Cleveland’s lack of effort — or interest — in playing defense in the first half gave Atlanta a fighting chance late in this game. During their Arthur win streak, Cleveland’s defense has been the real reason why they’ve been so effective. After giving up 67 in the first half, the Cavs tightened it up, only giving up 47 in the latter two quarters.
The Cavaliers will head home to host the Grizzlies on Saturday night, as they look to extend their winning streak to 11 games. Tip-off for that game is at 7:30 p.m.