Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby each finished with 15 points apiece, with Johnson adding nine assists for Atlanta, which has won its first four games of the season and is off to its best start since the 2008-09 campaign when it began 6-0. Jamal Crawford chipped in with 16 points in a reserve role.
J.J. Hickson went for a career-high 31 points for the Cavaliers, who have dropped three straight after defeating Boston in their season-opener.
Mo Williams (groin) played in his first game of the year and scored 12 points off the bench.
Marvin Williams scored 10 points in the opening quarter, as the hot shooting Hawks made 71.4 percent from the floor to grab a 40-27 lead after the opening 12 minutes.
Crawford’s jumper early in the second increased the Atlanta advantage to 46-29 and it would maintain a comfortable double-digit edge throughout the period. Cleveland was able to get as close as 10 on a few occasions late, but Marvin Williams drained a pair of free throws with just over a second to play to give the visitors a 59-47 lead heading into the half.
Cleveland went on a 13-5 run to start the third and closed to within 64-60 after Anthony Parker hit from three-point range. Mo Milliams’ triple with 3:22 left in the quarter made it a 70-69 game in favor of Atlanta.
The Hawks built the lead back up to five a short time later, but Ryan Hollins made a pair from the stripe and Mo Williams hit a jumper with 15.7 seconds left to draw the Cavs to within a point at 74-73 after three quarters.
Gibson gave the hosts a brief lead with a driving layup to start the fourth before Johnson made a jumper and layup sandwiched around a Crawford three, and the Hawks were back in front, 81-75, with just under 10 minutes in the game.
Cleveland got as close as three, 87-84, following a pair of free throws from Hickson near the midway point, but Horford answered with a dunk on the Hawks’ next possession, and Marvin Williams’ 18-footer ended a stretch of six straight points that gave Atlanta a 10-point lead with just over two minutes to play.
Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison missed the game with a sore left knee…Cleveland won three of four meetings with Atlanta last season and despite the loss is 20-6 in the past 26 matchups between the clubs…Atlanta shot 44 percent from the field, while Cleveland made 43.2 percent of its shots.