ATLANTA (AP) — LeBron James had a triple-double and Kyle Korver scored a season-high 30 points, including four straight 3-pointers to close the third period, as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-107 on Friday night for a successful start to their reboot.
One day after unloading six players, including guards Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade, in three trades, the Cavaliers were in a state of transition. They had only nine available players against the Hawks, but Korver more than made up for a short bench.
Korver, the former Hawks fan favorite, made 7 of 13 from 3-point range and finished two points from matching his career high of 32.
James had 22 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds. Jeff Green, also coming off the bench, had 24 points.
Newcomers George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood joined the Cavs, but remained in the locker room during the game. They are expected to make their debuts with Cleveland on Sunday in Boston.
The team sent medical staff to Atlanta to complete physicals with the four players as quickly as possible.
The team planned a practice on Saturday to begin what coach Tyronn Lue said would be a re-introduction of the offense and defense.
“It can be good for us offensively and defensively, starting all over and breaking everything down from scratch will be good for this team,” Lue said. “Even guys who have been here, I think it will be good. It will take some time to do that but we’ve got the All-Star break coming up. … We’ll try to get those guys up to speed as quickly as possible.”
Dennis Schroder led Atlanta with 25 points. Taurean Prince had 15 points.
Cleveland led 83-80 late in the third period when James scored and was fouled by John Collins. James’ momentum carried him into a section of fans under the basket, and he was limping when he emerged. He made the free throw, remained in the game and then had assists on back-to-back 3s by Korver for a 91-80 lead.
Korver made a third straight 3-pointer following a timeout to stretch the lead to 14 points. Following a basket by Atlanta’s Malcolm Delaney, Korver added his fourth 3 of the period, a buzzer-beater.
Cavaliers: Cedi Osman, making his first start, had 16 points but struggled at the free-throw line. He made only two of seven free throws, twice missing each of two attempts. … London Perrantes and John Holland played limited roles to add depth to the temporarily short-handed roster.
Hawks: Coach Mike Budenholzer says the team bought out Marco Belinelli’s contract both for the veteran 3-point specialist and to give younger players, including rookie Tyler Dorsey, more playing time. Dorsey had 14 points and made three 3-pointers. The move with Belinelli, 31, was announced before the game. … G DeAndre Bembry posted bond and was with the team following his arrest early Friday for speeding on an Atlanta interstate. He was clocked driving a purple Dodge Charger at 128 mph on Interstate 85 about 12:20 a.m. Bembry, who has a left abductor strain, has not played since Dec. 22. … Former Braves standout Chipper Jones, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, sat courtside near the Hawks bench.
Cavaliers: Visit Boston on Sunday.
Hawks: Host Pistons on Sunday.
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