No Johnson, Big Problem: Cavs Pludge To Hawks 99-83

With Atlanta’s playoff seed secure, Cavs look to capitalize

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Cavaliers Working Late Sunday Night Shift, Down 52-39 At Half

The NBA enthusiast would expect a team such as the Hawks to slow down in the absence of their elite scorer; Joe Johnson. That is anything but the case tonight at the Q in legendary radio broadcaster Joe Tait ‘s return to the booth. Atlanta is making a strong push for respect come playoff time, and the Cavaliers are feeling the burns in the third degree.

The Hawks first half assist to turnover ratio ended out at 18-4. Their dynamic duo of Josh Smith and Al Horford doomed the Cavaliers in the paint, outscoring the Cavs starting bigs Ryan Hollins and J.J. Hickson 25-4. The wine and gold reserve unit actually outscored the starters 21-18, and only a pair of trips to the free thro line failed to get any rhythm established for the home team. Baron Davis put up 11 points in his productive ten minutes.

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Cavaliers To Take On Another Tough Customer In Atlanta Hawks

The Eastern Conference Playoff race is becoming clearer now that five teams have punched their ticket; the Hawks are one of them. They have been in the post season now for four straight years, but are still searching for that big momentum shift to get them over them hump moving forward. Despite all of the celebration, however, the Cavs just might have caught them at the opportune time.

Atlanta has not won back to back victories in almost two weeks, and will be without leading scorer, NBA All-Star shooting guard Joe Johnson. Johnson strained his right thumb in the Hawks 98-87 win over New Jersey on Saturday night. And with that spot in the playoffs guaranteed, and an unlikelihood of catching Orlando, who leads Atlanta by six games, and thus gaining homecourt advantage in a series, the Hawks may use this chance to get healthy.

Advantage: Cavaliers. At least, we hope so.

The wine and gold shattered their seven game home slew with a 97-91 win over the Detroit Pistons. Big man J.J. Hickson is coming off of yet another double-double effort with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Baron Davis ‘s 3-point dagger and 16 points helped close out the Cavalier win. It was Davis's fifth game from returning to the team after the loss of his grandmother.

The Cavs fell to the soaring Hawks 100-88 in their last meeting back on November 2nd.

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