Cavaliers dominate Trae Young's Hawks 128-105   
            BY TIM SHIRER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - Coming off a win on Sunday night 105-102 against the Raptors the Cleveland Cavaliers (9-8, 4-5 home) welcomed in the Atlanta Hawks (8-8, 5-3 away) on Tuesday night. It was the final game of the qualifying round of the NBA’s In Season Tournament.

This was the first of four meetings between the two clubs. Last season the two teams met three times with Hawks winning two in Atlanta and the Cavs won the only game that was played in Cleveland at Rocket Mortgage Field House 114-102 on November 21, 2022. The Hawks hold the all-time series record 129-110. But the Cavs have had the advantage in Cleveland with a combined 70-52 record at the Cleveland Arena, Richfield Coliseum and RMFH. The Cavs notched another win in the all-time series and started off the season series the right way as they easily got by the Hawks 128-105.

The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair as the lead changed eight times in the first 12 minutes. The Cavs biggest lead in the quarter was four points when they led 21-17 with 4:30 left in the quarter on a dunk by Donovan Mitchell. The Hawks led 33-29 at the end of the period, although the Cavs thought they had pulled to within one at 33-32 when Mitchell hit a three but was overturned as it was determined on replay that time had expired in the quarter. The Hawks Clint Capela and Dejonte Murray led all scorers with eight points each. Mitchell led the Cavs with seven first quarter points. The Cavs led on the boards 13-11 in the first 12 minutes. The problem for Cleveland was turnovers. They turned it over five times resulting in five Hawks points. Meanwhile the Hawks turned it over just twice and the Cavs couldn’t manage to turn those into any points.

The second quarter the Cavs started to come alive offensively outscoring the Hawks 35-28 to take a 64-61 lead heading into the locker room at halftime. At one point in the second from 6:53 mark to the 2:21 point of the quarter the Cavs went on a 19-4 run to take a 60-53 lead. The Cavs dominated the points in the paint in the first half outscoring the Hawks 34-18. Mitchell led all scorers with 17 points. Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Hawks with 13 first half points. The Cavs also won the battle of the glass in the first half 26-21. Much like the Cavs in the first quarter turnovers hurt the Hawks in the second turning the ball over four times resulting in 10 Cavs points.

The Cavs came out on fire in the third quarter outscoring the Hawks 17-9 in the first 4:50 of the third to take an 81-70 lead with 7:50 left in the period. After Hawks coach Quinn Snyder had seen enough and took a timeout the Cavs came back after scoring four more before Atlanta finally got a basket to pull to within 13 at 85-72 on a turnaround layup by Saddiq Bey with 5:35 left in the third. With 3:37 left after Bogdanovic hit two free throws the Hawks cut the Cavs lead to 87-77. The Cavs lead increased to 89-77 with 3:21 left in the first 36 minutes. With 1:11 left in the quarter Georges Niang was called for a personal foul which he did not agree with and told official Andy Nagy just that. Nagy then called a technical foul on Niang. When the quarter ended the Cavs led 102-90, the Cavs scoring in the quarter was finished off by Darius Garland with :08 left on the clock. Mitchell once again was leading all scorers after three with 29 points. Bogdanovic paced the Hawks with 15. The Cavs continued to dominate the paint outscoring the Hawks through 36 minutes inside 48-28. The Cavs also owned the boards 36-28.

In the first 3:11 of the fourth quarter the Cavs extended their lead to 112-95 on a nice pass by Mitchell to Caris LeVert who drained a three and now had 7 points all in the last six minutes ending the third quarter and starting the fourth. The assist was Mitchell’s fifth, but he didn’t lead the Cavs at this point because Max Strus also had five and Garland led the team with eight. With 6:58 left the Cavs took a 117-97 lead on a layup by Mitchell from Strus on sixth assist of the game and Mitchell’s 31st points. Even though the game was considered a blowout at this point and normally coaches would make substitutions Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff left his starters in the game as the Cavs needed a 36 point margin of victory to get the Wild Card berth in the In Season Tournament. The Cavs fell short by 13 points. Mitchell finished the game with 40 points leading all scorers in the game. Evan Mobley had another monster game finishing with 17 points, 17 rebounds and six blocked shots. D’andre Hunter and Bogdanovic led the Hawks with 18 points each in a losing effort. The Cavs handled Trae Young holding him to 13 points as he only made it to the foul line six times hitting five of the attempts, he did have 10 assists in the loss.

The Cavs will be in action next Thursday when they welcome the Portland Trail Blazers to Cleveland. Game time is 7 pm.. 
Follow us on Twitter @SportsSentinel Check out our Cavaliers fan page Taitville 
​POSTED 11/28/2023 22:19
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Cavaliers .               Photo by Tommy Shirer