The Cleveland Cavaliers head down south to play the fourth-and-final game of the season against the Atlanta Hawks.
Cleveland is currently on the wrong side on a season-worst eight-game losing streak, but are 2-1 against Atlanta this season. They also just got back star point guard Kyrie Irving on Sunday in New Orleans.
The 2013 3-point king had a terrific return, scoring 31 points in 28 minutes of action. Irving finished 11-of-20 shooting, including three-of-five from downtown, and hit all six free-throw attempts. He also had six assists and two rebounds.
The Hawks don’t like facing the Cavs when Kyrie’s on the court. He missed the first meeting of the season on Nov. 30, a game ATL lost at home 113-11, but was a monster in the second and third matchups.
On Dec. 28 in Cleveland, Irving tallied 28 points, on 12-of-20 shooting, in 38 minutes of action. He hit four-of-seven 3-pointers and also stuffed the stat sheet with six rebounds, five assists, four steals and one block. However, the Hawks won 102-94.
On Jan. 9 in Cleveland, he was even better. Irving dropped 33 points, on 11-of-15 shooting, in 33 minutes of play. He hit all six free-throws and also five-of-six 3-pointers, while adding four assists, three steals and one rebound. The Cavs won 99-83.
The Hawks need to win tonight’s home game to even the series 2-2, and also to keep up in the playoff race. They’ll get a boost with all-star caliber Al Horford returning to the lineup.
Atlanta is currently tied with Chicago for the #5 seed, and sit just 1.5 games behind fourth-place Brooklyn.