Neither of these two wins against the Hawks were particularly pretty, but they go down as Ws, so the Cavs aren't about to complain.
You could tell the minute that LeBron James stepped on the floor that he wasn't about to settle in the offensive department. Unfortunately, his teammates didn't follow the lead until late.
James scored a season-high 48 points on his birthday nonetheless to lead the Cavs to a 106-101 win. Overall the Hawks outplayed the Cavs offensively outshooting them from the three-point arc and overall 48 percent to 47 percent.
The key difference: free throws. The Hawks got to the line just 15 times overall in the game, while the Cavs had 38 trips. James had 16 free throw attempts by himself.
Another key: The Cavs' defense showed up again when it mattered most - the second half. They erased a one-time 17-point lead to eventually win the game.
Sometimes sports just ain't pretty.