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Final thoughts: Hawks 102, Cavs 94

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 28, 2012
Irving shoots jumper vs Hawks
Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) shoots a 3-point shot over Atlanta Hawks' Louis Williams (3) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in Cleveland. Irving scored 28 points in the 102-94 loss to the Hawks. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

CLEVELAND: Final thoughts from the press room at the Q...

* Byron Scott used a stat tonight that I haven't had time to double check, but sounds about right: In 20 of their now 24 losses, the Cavs have been leading or within six points entering the fourth quarter. "So we've put ourselves in position," he said. "We've been right there. It's just learning how to close games out."

* It's hard to come down too hard on Kyrie Irving for that long 3-pointer he took at the end of the game. The Hawks' Jeff Teague, clearly fearful of dribble penetration, had left Irving with a big cushion at various points throughout the night. Irving had plenty of room again, and he has hit plenty of big shots at the end of games throughout his career. But when they don't go in, the second-guessing begins. He pulled up about 3 feet behind the 3-point line and launched early in the shot clock. Every possession at the end of games is magnified. 

* More concerning is Dion Waiters, who is showing a tendency of making his first few shots before fading. Waiters is shooting 43 percent in first quarters this season, 32 percent in second quarters, 35 percent in third quarters and 37 percent in fourth quarters and overtime. He missed all eight of his shots in the second half on Friday.

* Daniel Gibson was diagnosed with a concussion after the game and did not travel with the team to Brooklyn for Saturday's game against the Nets. 

* The most disheartening part of the night? Josh Smith, the Hawks' leading scorer, missed the entire fourth quarter with a hip injury. Yet they still outscored the Cavs 27-14.

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