Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/22

Game 1: Saturday, November 22nd
Hawks96Final
Cavaliers110
Game 2: Saturday, December 13th
Cavaliers92Final
Hawks97
Game 3: Sunday, March 1st
Cavaliers88Final
Hawks87
Game 4: Saturday, March 21st
Hawks96Final
Cavaliers102

Hawks 96

(8-5, 4-4 away)

Cavaliers 110

(10-3, 7-0 home)

    Coverage: FSS

    7:30 PM ET, November 22, 2008

    Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 12 20 26 3896
    CLE 28 21 30 31110

    Top Performers

    Atlanta: A. Law 20 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    Cleveland: L. James 24 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    LeBron below his average, but Cavs have no trouble winning ninth in 10 tries

    Associated Press

    CLEVELAND -- As the rim neared and with two 6-foot-10 players in his path, LeBron James took flight unsure of his next move.

    So he dunked -- left-handed.

    "I just kind of made that one up," he said.

    Fast Facts

    • The Cavaliers remained undefeated at home this season, improving to 7-0 at home for the first time since going 9-0 to start the 1991-92 season.

    • Atlanta fell to 2-5 since starting the season 6-0.

    • The Hawks got huge contributions from their bench: Maurice Evans scored 21 points and Acie Law IV had 20 points, six rebounds and seven assists in 23 minutes.

    -- ESPN research

    James didn't reach his scoring average and it didn't matter as the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled past the Atlanta Hawks 110-96 on Saturday night for their ninth win in 10 games.

    James, who came in as the NBA's top scorer averaging 29.5 points, finished with 24 -- 19 in the second half -- on 8-of-19 shooting. He added eight assists, seven rebounds and a few more highlight-package dunks as the Cavaliers improved to 10-3 to match their best start since the 1988-89 season.

    James dunked once lefty (his weaker hand), a few times with his right and rocked a few through the rim with both as his teammates found him with a few alley-oop passes.

    James doesn't necessarily rate his dunks, but he likes delivering them.

    "It all depends on what part of the game it is, how the flow is going and whether it's a big bucket or not," he said. "Sometimes you want to get the momentum going your way. I enjoy them. I do."

    Playing for the first time since their eight-game winning streak ended in Detroit, the Cavs jumped to an 11-0 lead, pushed their advantage to 18 in the second quarter and 28 in the third while improving to 7-0 at home. Cleveland is the only Eastern Conference team not to lose on its home floor this season.

    And if the Cavs play like this, it's going to be tough for anyone to beat them inside Quicken Loans Arena.

    "They look great," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said of the Cavs. "They're one of the top teams in the East. They have a legitimate shot to get to the finals. You have to play at a high level when you're playing those teams."

    James got plenty of help as Mo Williams scored 23 points, Delonte West 19 and Zydrunas Ilgauskas 17 for Cleveland. The Cavs have won 15 of their last 18 games against the Hawks.

    Maurice Evans scored 21 points, Acie Law had 20 and Joe Johnson, who came in averaging 25.7, scored just four for the Hawks, who have lost five of seven after starting 6-0.

    Johnson did not score in the second half and was hounded most of the night by the 6-foot-3 West, who gave up four inches to the Hawks' leading scorer.

    "It was a tough night," he said.

    Trailing 68-40 in the third, Atlanta whittled Cleveland's big lead to 11 when James came up with another of those rim-rattling, head-shaking slams.

    Driving down the lane, James got a step on Al Horford, rose to the basket and dunked left handed over both Horford and Solomon Jones, making the pair of 6-foot-10, 245-pounders look like high schoolers. Later, James blasted to the basket, cocked the ball and powered it through with enough force to cause Evans to duck for cover.

    "I've been on the opposite side of that," said West, who came to the Cavs in a trade last season. "I hope whoever is underneath doesn't try to be a hero and just gets out the way."

    James and the Cavaliers have a busy week upcoming with four games in five days.

    On Tuesday, they'll be in New York to face the Knicks where James will almost certainly have to address another round of questions about his future. James can become a free agent after the 2010 and already there is talk that he'll leave Cleveland for the Knicks or another major-market team.

    "It doesn't bother me," James said before the game of the endless speculation. "If it bothered me I couldn't go out there and perform the way I do every night. It gets funny, but at the same time people need things to write about. I'm OK with it."

    The Knicks cleared out considerable salary-cap space for '10 on Friday by trading Jamal Crawford to Golden State for Al Harrington and dealing Zach Randolph to the Los Angeles Clippers for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas on Friday. That money could be used to sign James, who was amused that he was the player most talked about after the moves.

    "I figured that would happen," he said. "They didn't even care about the guys that were coming to the Knicks. 2010 is a really big summer. It's two years away but time goes fast. We'll see what happens."

    Game notes


    Free-agent pitcher CC Sabathia, still mulling a contract offer from the New York Yankees, attended the game. During halftime, Sabathia signed autographs for Cleveland fans, who wish he hadn't been traded and can only hope he would consider coming back. ... The Cavs went 21 of 23 (91 percent) from the line. ... Cavaliers F Wally Szczerbiak was back after missing one game to be with his father, Walt, who underwent open heart surgery this week. He finished with eight points and six points in 19 minutes. ... Atlanta F Josh Smith missed his ninth h straight game with a sprained left ankle. ... Hawks coach Mike Woodson played four games for the Cavs during the 1990-91 season and was an assistant coach in Cleveland from 1999-01.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    ATL
    CLE
    Points 96 110
    FGM-FGA 36-81 (.444) 41-81 (.506)
    3PM-3PA 7-13 (.538) 7-21 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 17-24 (.708) 21-23 (.913)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-37 11-41
    Assists 18 20
    Turnovers 9 9
    Steals 2 3
    Blocks 3 4
    Fast Break Points 16 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (2/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 28

    Top Performers

    Atlanta
    Cleveland
    Acie Law Law
    Points: 20
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    LeBron James James
    Points: 24
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0