Tonight’s matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers is one with major playoff implications, as both teams are battling for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Tonight will mark the third-and-final time the Cavs and Hawks will meet in the 2013-2014 season, with Atlanta holding a 2-0 record over Cleveland in the two prior meetings and going for the season sweep tonight at home.
In the most recent game between these Eastern Conference foes, Atlanta snuck out of the Quicken Loans Arena with a 127-125 overtime victory. Jeff Teague led the way for the Hawks with 34 points and 14 assists in a night where four Hawks scored 20 or more points. Kyrie Irving scored 40 points in a losing effort.
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Who?: Cleveland Cavalier vs Atlanta Hawks
What?: Eastern Conference Showdown (Game #75, Home Game #36)
Where?: Philips Arena (Atlanta, GA)
When?: Friday, April 4, 2014 – 7:30 PM (ET)
How?: SportSouth HD TV & 92.9 FM
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kyle Korver | SF: DeMarre Carroll | PF: Paul Millsap | C: Pero Antic
PG: Kyrie Irving | SG: Dion Waiters | SF: Loul Deng | PF: Tristan Thompson | C: Spencer Hawes
Atlanta Hawks: Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder surgery), Al Horford (right pectoral muscle surgery) and John Jenkins (lower back surgery) are out.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao (right AC joint sprain) is probable. Anthony Bennett (left patellar tendon strain), Carrick Felix (left patellar stress fracture) and C.J. Miles (left ankle sprain) are out.
Current Records, Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Cleveland Cavaliers (31-45) / Atlanta Hawks (32-42)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Lost 1 | HOME: Lost 1 | ROAD: Lost 3 Cleveland Cavaliers –> OVERALL: Won 2 | HOME: Won 2 | ROAD: Won 1
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (21-15) at home / Cavaliers are (14-25) away.
Atlanta Hawks: Cold. The Hawks finally snapped a six-game losing streak against the 76ers on Monday, but were back to their losing ways on Wednesday against the Bulls.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Hot. The Cavs have won two in a row and five of their last six overall, and are still alive for the final playoff spot in the East. Although they trail both Atlanta and New York by two games each, Cleveland has the easiest remaining schedule of the three teams and could make a serious run at the 8th seed.
Series Notes/Past Series Notes
The Hawks welcome the Cavaliers to Philips Arena for the third-and-final matchup this season. Atlanta has taken the first two contests, winning 108-89 at home on 12/6 and 127-125 (2OT) in Cleveland on 12/26. Paul Millsap is averaging 18.0 points and 12.5 rebounds on .516 FG% in two games versus Cleveland this year. Dion Waiters is putting up 25.0 points on .647 FG% in two games against the Hawks this season. Atlanta owns a three-game winning streak in the series, with Cleveland’s last victory coming on 1/9/13 at home (99-83). The Cavs’ last road victory in the series came on 11/30/12 (113-111). Atlanta leads the all-time series 113-95, including a 67-35 mark at home.
LAST MEETING — HAWKS 127, CAVS 125 (2OT) — CLE, OHIO — 12/26/13
Jeff Teague’s jumper as time expired in the second overtime gave Atlanta a 127-125 win at Cleveland. Teague also hit a three-pointer with 4.9 seconds remaining in the first overtime to force the second extra session. The Hawks point guard ended the night with a career-high 34 points (career-best 14-24 FGs) and 14 assists. Al Horford scored 25 points with Paul Millsap (11 rebounds) and Kyle Korver putting in 20 apiece, and Shelvin Mack 10 off the bench. Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 40 points and nine assists, and Anderson Varejao pulled down 17 boards. The Hawks hit 11 3FGs on the night (Cavs made eight) and had a 19-8 advantage in second chance points. The game, Atlanta’s second straight overtime affair, was tied 17 times and had 12 lead changes. The Hawks set new season-highs in points (127) and FGM (51).
Cavaliers Assistant Coach Jim Boylan is a former Hawks Assistant. Jarrett Jack is a former Georgia Tech star. C.J. Miles was teammates in Utah with Kyle Korver (2007-10), Paul Millsap (2006-12) and DeMarre Carroll for parts of 2011-12. Gustavo Ayon and Jack were teammates in New Orleans for part of 2011-12. Alonzo Gee played for San Antonio and Washington in 2010-11, where he was coached by Mike Budenholzer who was an Assistant on the Spurs bench, and was a teammate of Cartier Martin with the Wizards. Spencer Hawes is the nephew of Steve Hawes, who played for the Hawks from 1976-83.