Bazemore sinks dagger as Atlanta Hawks hand Cavaliers first loss of season
Kent Bazemore sank the dagger jumper with six seconds left to help the Hawks hand the Cavs their first loss of the season. AP

THE Atlanta Hawks knocked down crucial jumpers in a thrilling finish to end an 11-game losing streak to Cleveland and hand the Cavaliers their first loss of the season, 110-106, at the Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time)

Kent Bazemore, Paul Millsap, and Dennis Schroder stepped up late to counter a feisty run by the Cavs big three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Schroder scored five straight points to put the Hawks up, 106-97, with over two minutes but James and Irving had back-to-back triples that brought the Cavs within three, before Millsap sank a jumper with30 seconds left to increase their lead, 108-103.

After Love’s three point play put the Cavs within two on the next play, Bazemore answered with a dagger with six ticks left to seal the win.

Millsap scored six in a 12-2 run to start the fourth quarter, but Irving answered with eight of his own in a 13-2 rally to bring the Cavs closer, 94-98, with over four minutes left.

The game was tied after the first 12 minutes until the Hawks went on a 17-4 run at the 5:22 mark of the second quarter to close the first half with a 53-44 lead. Schroder and Bazemore sank five of Atlanta’s seven three pointers at the break

The Hawks built their biggest lead at 18 in the third quarter but James scored 14 in the period to help the Cavs cut the lead down to two, before Bazemore brought it back up to five at the end of the frame.

Schroder led the Hawks, who won their second straight game to stand at 5-2, with 28 points. Bazemore and Millsap scored 25 and 21, respectively. Dwight Howard only had seven markers but hauled down 17 rebounds.

Irving topped the scoring for the Cavs with 29, while Love had 24. James finished with 23 points, 19 in the second half, as Cleveland lost its first game for the season at home.


Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph