Gee lifts Cavaliers past Hawks, 113-111
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ATLANTA (AP) — Alonzo Gee scored on a putback with less than 1 second remaining, lifting the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 113-111 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night that snapped a four-game losing streak.
Gee rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Dion Waiters and quickly followed up with the winning shot. The Hawks, out of timeouts, couldn’t manage a shot before time expired.
Jeremy Pargo led Cleveland with 22 points, including three straight baskets late in the game. Waiters scored 21 and Anderson Varejao had 20 points and 18 rebounds for Cleveland, which earned its second road win in 11 tries.
Josh Smith had 25 points for Atlanta, which had won six in a row. Al Horford had 15 points and 11 rebounds, but he got little help as the Cavaliers outrebounded the Hawks 49-28.
Daniel Gibson’s 3-pointer with 4:24 remaining gave Cleveland its first lead of the second half at 99-97. Smith scored for Atlanta before Pargo took control with three straight baskets for a 105-99 lead.
A three-point play by Jeff Teague and a 3-pointer by Lou Williams with 1:16 remaining pulled the Hawks back into a tie at 105-all.
Pargo then set up Varejao for a running jump shot, and Waiters scored on a layup to give Cleveland a four-point lead. Smith’s 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining trimmed the difference to one. Varejao sank two free throws before Williams answered with a tying 3-pointer with 13.6 seconds remaining.
Varejao posted his seventh straight double-double. It was his 11th game with more than 15 rebounds this season. He began the night with an NBA-best 14.9 rebounds per game.
Cleveland led 54-50 with less than 3 minutes to go in the first half before the Hawks closed out the quarter with a 17-2 run. Smith started the run with three straight baskets; a 3-pointer, followed by a jam on Teague’s assist and then a hook shot.
Hawks coach Larry Drew called timeout with 2 seconds remaining. Ivan Johnson took the inbound pass, dribbled a few feet beyond the top of the arc and then launched a buzzer-beating 3-pointer — only the third of his career.
A smiling Johnson celebrated with chest bumps from Smith and Anthony Morrow as the Hawks left the court leading 67-56.
NOTES: The Hawks went 23 for 32 at the foul line, compared to 21 of 22 for the Cavs. … Gibson returned after missing one game with a sore right elbow. … Cleveland ended a streak of seven straight losses in the series. The Cavaliers’ last win in the series came on April 2, 2010, and their last win in Atlanta was on Dec. 29, 2009.
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