ATLANTA (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 43 points, LeBron James had 38 and the Cleveland Cavaliers set the NBA regular-season record with 25 3-pointers as they turned back Atlanta’s late rally to beat the Hawks 135-130 on Friday night.
After Paul Millsap’s baseline jumper over James cut Cleveland’s lead to 124-123, Kyle Korver — who was traded from Atlanta to the Cavaliers on Jan. 7 — hit the record-breaking 3-pointer to pad the lead.
Cleveland made 25 of 46 3s to break a record that stood less than three months. Houston made 24 treys in a 122-100 win over New Orleans on Dec. 16.
Tim Hardaway Jr. made five of nine 3-pointers and led the Hawks with a career-high 36 points. Millsap had 27 points.
The Cavaliers set the high-scoring pace by scoring 39 points in the first period. The Hawks also shot well, making 55.6 percent of their shots in the first half, but still trailed 77-60 at the break.
It was an impressive showing by Cleveland, which signed free-agent center Andrew Bogut on Thursday. Bogut has not yet joined the team.
Hardaway’s breakaway jam cut the Cleveland lead to six points at 121-115, but James answered with a 3-pointer.
Hardaway had too little scoring help for the Hawks to keep pace with the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers made 14 of 23 3-pointers in the first half. Cleveland finished four points shy of their season high before halftime. It had 81 points in the first half of a 137-125 win over Portland on Nov. 23.
Cleveland continued its high-scoring pace by leading 106-88 after three periods.
The Cavaliers atoned for a 110-106 home loss to Atlanta on Nov. 8. It was Cleveland’s only loss in their last 12 games — including the postseason — against the Hawks since the 2015 playoffs.
The Hawks retired “Pistol” Pete Maravich’s No. 44 at halftime. The number was uncovered in the Philips Arena rafters beside banners honoring numbers worn by Bob Pettit (9), Lou Hudson (23), Dominique Wilkins (21) and Dikembe Mutombo (55).
Maravich’s wife, Jackie, and son, Josh, spoke at the ceremony.
Cavaliers: Coach Tyronn Lue was sniffling with cold symptoms, but said “I’ll be all right. As long as I don’t get anybody else sick.” … Lue said he does not yet have a plan for how he’ll fit Bogut into his rotation. Lue said Channing Frye will continue to start.
Hawks: In honor of Maravich, who began his career in Atlanta from 1970-74, the team wore its early 1970s blue and green throwback uniform. … Cleveland’s 77 points were the most allowed by Atlanta in a first half this season. … G-F Mike Dunleavy, who missed his fourth straight game, has been diagnosed with right ankle synovitis. The Hawks say Dunleavy now will have an undetermined period of rest and rehabilitation.
WELCOME BACK, KORVER
Players from both benches applauded after the first quarter when the Hawks had a video tribute for Korver. He hugged many of his former teammates during pregame warmups and was cheered by fans, some wearing his Hawks jersey, when he entered the game with 3:16 remaining in the first quarter.
Cavaliers: At Miami on Saturday
Hawks: Host Indiana on Sunday