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Short-handed Hawks score improbable win over Cavaliers


Improbable.

Unlikely.

Extraordinary.

Take your pick of a number of adjectives to describe the Hawks’ 114-100 victory at the Cavaliers Friday night. The Hawks played without their entire starting lineup – all on the bench due to injury or rest. No problem. The remaining 10 players handed it to the Cavaliers in their own building.

Coupled with the home win over the Celtics Thursday, the undermanned Hawks defeated the top two teams in the Eastern conference on back-to-back nights.

The Hawks (41-38) are nearly assured a playoff spot after the chance were grim just last week. They kept their hold on fifth in the conference with three games remaining. The Hawks host the Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon in a rematch.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Hawks with 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Mike Dunleavy added 20 points, including four 3-pointers. As a team, the Hawk were 16 of 37 from 3-point range.

The Hawks also got double-digit scoring from Ersan Ilyasova (13), Mike Muscala (13), Kris Humphries (12) and Malcolm Delaney (10). All 10 available players played and scored in the rout.

The Cavaliers (51-28) had a four-game win streak snapped. LeBron James scored a game-high 27 points. The Cavaliers, second in the NBA in 3-pointers made and percentage were just 9 of 36 from long range.

The Hawks led by 20 points with two minutes remaining after Hardaway made his final 3-pointer.

Starters Paul Millsap (left knee synovitis), Kent Bazemore (right knee bone bruise), Thabo Sefolosha (right groin strain), Dennis Schroder (right mid-foot sprain) and Dwight Howard (rest) all sat out the stunning victory.



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