Post mortem: Cavs 88, Hawks 87
In a playoff situation, this team scares me. Just like they scared the hell out of Boston last year, taking them to seven games before losing on the Celtics home court.
At one point, the Cavs enjoyed a 13-point lead and looked to be on their way to coasting. Not a chance, the Hawks pecked and clawed their way back to eventually take a seven-point lead. The Cavs cut that to four at 84-80 with 2:47 left in the game.
That's when the Cavs, by LeBron James' estimation, played some of their basketball of the year. They needed stops; they got them. They needed huge shots and got those as well with Mo Williams and James hitting the two biggest of the night.
With the Hawks up 87-84, James found Williams on the wing for a three-pointer to tie the game. The Hawks didn't score on the next possession and James drove to the hoop with 1.6 seconds left and drew the foul from Atlanta's Al Horford. He created some drama by missing the first free throw, but connected on the second.
Yes, it was a great end to the game, but the Cavs shouldn't have even been in that position.
They played sloppily for much of the second half to begin. And they didn't get any help from the official scorer who couldn't keep track of fouls on Delonte West.
With three minutes left in the third quarter, the scorer had West with four fouls when he actually only had three. Brown pulled him from the game tinkering with his rotation. During that span the Hawks went on an 8-0 run to take a 68-67 lead. Sloppy to say the least and had the Cavs lost, they may have had reason to protest.
It's not the first time it's happened.
Mike Brown on Delonte's foul situation:
That can really affect the game if you're messing with your rotation like that. I think I had a right to be upset. I did not appreciate the fact that they said Delonte had four especially being on the road and knowing that that is the Hawks' crew.Cavs At the half: Cavs 53, Hawks 43