Cavs 100, Hawks 95
--This is why you don't bet pro sports games. That and the other night against the Celtics when James Posey hit that meaningless 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead from four to one and the Cavs were giving three. --Ira Newble is having a great season by his standards and he may never play better than tonight. Him hitting the jumpers is a roll of the dice, but his activity around the glass and getting putbacks was difference-making. The Hawks are a pretty good rebounding team and tonight the Cavs won the battle in part because Ira was in there fighting for loose balls. --Quick, who is the Cavs best free-throw shooter this season....thinking....thinking...he's a starter...Ira, he's 18-of-20. --Larry Hughes has a "great toe jam." Yes, that is what they called it. It was a non-contact injury unless you consider his foot hitting the floor contact. He said he thinks he'll be able to play Sunday. By the way, he was playing off the ball tonight like he likes and he still took jumpers all night. He didn't vary his game much, which is when he can be effective. He had a Shannon Brown-esque stat line: 15 points on 16 shots. --LeBron looked tired in the fourth quarter and you can't blame him. But it seemed like after Hughes left with the injury the whole team got an injection of energy because they were pissed another player had gone down. The game pretty much turned right there. --Eric Snow was a train wreck on offense, he missed two layups and got another stuffed down his throat. But he had have five assists and five steals and help force Joe Johnson into eight turnovers. Johnson is in the top five in the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring and tonight he had just three. Snow was on him down the stretch and refused to let him drive. Eric is still an excellent situational defender and he should get some minutes in that role. --Damon Jones has made a 3-pointer in 16 straight games. There's a lot to complain about in his game, especially his one-on-one defense, but he's been a clutch player in numerous wins. Tonight he got a couple of key baskets faking a 3 and driving to the rim or pulling up. --I was sitting in the mid-deck of Philips Arena tonight and I dropped a T-shirt that came from the ceiling and totally whiffed on a T-shirt that was shot out of a cannon right at me, for which Joe Tait openly mocked me for on the air. I wouldn't have kept either of them, I would've found a kid, but jeez, I suck.
Cavs (anyone want to guess?......): Eric Snow, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, Ira Newble, Zydrunas Ilgauskas Hawks: Anthony Johnson, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Al Horford
--Drew Gooden, Daniel Gibson, Sasha Pavlovic and Anderson Varejao are out and the Cavs are on a road-road back-to-back. Don't like their chances tonight, fans. But it's the NBA, you never know. --LeBron's thumb isn't great, he has it tapped up but he's going to play. He said he wasn't sure how it would affect his shot. --If the Cavs are going to win, of course LeBron will need a huge game but someone else has to score big. Either Hughes or Z probably, but Z played heavy minutes last night. Enjoy!
Stars LeBron, 26 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists Ira Newble, 18 points, eight rebounds Ilgauskas, 17 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks Joe Johnson, 23 points, eight assists Marvin Williams, 21 points, five rebounds
Quotes: Newble: "I didn't want to dunk it (at the end), I think I almost tore something. I don't mind being the jack of all trades. If I can play the "2", maybe the "3" or the "4" it is a way to get more minutes." LeBron: "This was a big win. We've got a real professional team. Everyone made an impact on the game, we needed everybody to step up."