You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Hawks erase 26-point deficit to stun Cavaliers in overtime (updated)


The Cavaliers had a point to make.

And they made it early.

The Hawks had a point to make.

And they made it late.

The Hawks overcame a 26-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime and stun the Cavaliers with a 126-125 victory Sunday afternoon at Philips Arena.

Mike Muscala hit a corner 3-pointer with 35.3 seconds left to give the Hawks the lead for good at 121-120. Kent Bazemore followed with a steal and layup on the ensuing possession. Tim Hardaway sealed the game with three free throws in the final 12 seconds. Kyrie Irving hit a meaningless 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.

“Our confidence is high right now,” said Paul Millsap, who sent the game into overtime with a buzzer-beat at the end of regulation.

The Hawks remain fifth in the Eastern Conference. They can finish fifth, sixth or seventh in the standings with two games remaining.

The Cavaliers led by as many as 19 points in the first quarter. They had payback on the mind two days after the Hawks, minus five starters, stunned the Cavaliers 114-100 in Cleveland Friday.

The Hawks made a furious fourth-quarter comeback by outscoring the Cavaliers 44-18 to force the overtime on Millsap’s late shot.

“A fourth quarter like that is hard to explain,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “They guys kept fighting. Caught a heck of a defensive quarter. That really set the tone and find a way to get them under control a little bit. They were scoring so much on us. The ball started moving and guys started making some shots and making some plays. Once you cut a big lead and it gets within distance, those are hard games when you are on the other side. We’ve been on that side.”

The Hawks (42-38) trailed by as many as 26 points and the Cavaliers led wire-to-wire before Millsap tied the game.

Millsap led the Hawks with 22 points. Hardaway added 21 points and Dwight Howard had 19 points despite not playing the fourth quarter and overtime.

The Hawks used a 19-5 run to start the fourth quarter to cut their deficit to 12 points, 98-86. They got as close as four points, 109-105, with 52.6 seconds remaining. The Hawks got the ball back with 18.7 seconds left after the Cavaliers were called for a five-second violation inbounding the ball. Hardaway made a free throw with 13.0 seconds left to make it a three-point game, 109-106. Irving made two free throws with 10.4 seconds left to thwart the Hawks’ comeback. Millsap made three free throws with eight seconds left for a 111-109 deficit. The Hawks got a jump ball with 4.9 seconds left. After a scramble, Millsap gained control and hit a fade-away baseline jump at the buzzer to tie the game at 111-111.

The Cavaliers (51-29) were led by Irving with a game-high 45 points and LeBron James had a triple-double with 32 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists before he fouled in overtime.

“There is definitely a line,” Muscala said of the momentum shift. “It’s a change. At the beginning of the fourth quarter they had most of their starters out. The dynamic of the game started to change. At that point, we were playing loose. We were playing together. We tried to keep it going.”

The Cavaliers led by as many as 21 point in the first half and took a 65-46 advantage into intermission. The Cavaliers started quickly as they made 7 of their first 11 shot attempts, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range.

Irving had 19 points for the Cavaliers and Howard had 17 points for the Hawks through two quarters.

The Cavaliers upped their lead to the 26 points as they ended the third quarter with a 93-67 lead. And then the Hawks took over.

The Hawks host the Hornets on Tuesday and play at the Pacers on Wednesday to end the regular season.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Hawks

New Hawks GM Schlenk already focused on important upcoming decisions
New Hawks GM Schlenk already focused on important upcoming decisions

Travis Schlenk already is on the job. Although the start date for the Hawks’ new general manager and head of basketball operations is not until June 1, Schlenk arrived in Atlanta on Wednesday. A day ahead of the official announcement of his hire, Schlenk had dinner with head coach Mike Budenholzer. The two met again Thursday morning and have...
NBA legend West endorsed Schlenk for Hawks’ GM
NBA legend West endorsed Schlenk for Hawks’ GM

Travis Schlenk has the full endorsement of Jerry West. That goes a long way. The Hawks announced the hire of Schlenk as the franchise’s new general manager Thursday. The 41-year-old Schlenk arrives after spending the past 12 years with the Golden State Warriors, the past five as assistant general manager. Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler spoke...
Hawks announce hire of Schlenk as new GM (updated)
Hawks announce hire of Schlenk as new GM (updated)

Travis Schlenk will get an early start at his new job. On the same day that the Golden State Warriors begin play in the NBA Finals, the organization’s third consecutive trip to the championship series, Schlenk will take over the Hawks. The Hawks announced the hire of Schlenk as the team’s new general manager and head of basketball operations...
Job 1 for the Hawks and Schlenk: Look to a time beyond LeBron
Job 1 for the Hawks and Schlenk: Look to a time beyond LeBron

The Hawks are set to hire Travis Schlenk, once on Ron Jirsa’s staff at Georgia and lately the assistant general manager with Golden State, as GM. This would mean Schlenk is moving from the NBA West, which the Warriors have ruled for three seasons, to the East. If you’re a GM based in the NBA East, here are your starting points: 1. LeBron...
Hawks close to hiring executive with UGA ties as GM
Hawks close to hiring executive with UGA ties as GM

The Atlanta Hawks are on the verge of hiring Travis Schlenk for their vacant general manager position, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed. Schlenk currently is the assistant general manager of the Golden State Warriors. The 41-year-old Schlenk has spent the past 12 seasons with the Warriors, including the past five as the assistant to general...
More Stories