Hawks resting Dwight Howard against Cavaliers

Beth Cruz
April 15, 2017

LeBron James scored 27 and Kyrie Irving 18 for Cleveland, which was in a funk for most of the night but took an 87-85 lead in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Korver. Atlanta defeated Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday night despite resting four starters. "We've had a few games like that where it's their turn to step up and play inspired basketball and they do and they come in and beat us".

I don't think the Celtics will put up another performance as poor as this one.

"It's hard to explain the way we kind of play - how we come up short all the time as far as just energy-wise". Then, they won in overtime, going ahead with a Mike Muscala three launched with 35 seconds to go and never looking back.

"We have to figure that out", he added after a win which lifted Washington to 48-31, level with Toronto, who had a rest day on Thursday. That's who we are. "You guys ask me about the Boston game, I don't get too excited", he told media after the loss.

Raptors over Wizards over Celtics: The Raptors would have the edge over the Wizards (2-1 season series edge) and the Wizards would get the nod over the Celtics based on the division victor criteria described above. Hopefully I'll get past that, ' the Trail Blazers' focused point guard said. That win seemed to signal a change, an acknowledgment that the postseason was quickly approaching and it was time to get serious. "I don't f--ing get it". Smith notably dropped 28 points and made eight three-pointers in Game 1 of the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals against the Hawks.

Great teams occasionally lose focus, as Lue said, and fall behind in games like this. "It was a huge, huge game for us, and we lost". "That's the most frustrating, most disturbing and it sucks".

LeBron James had a triple-double of 32 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, but fouled out in overtime.

"They can flip the switch", Bradley said.

James finished the game sitting on the baseline, removed from his teammates on the bench. Thabo Sefolosha (right groin strain) continued to be sidelined, and Atlanta didn't want to play Millsap or Bazemore on consecutive nights after recent bout with injuries. Kyrie Irving played 33 and then complained of knee soreness after the game.Instead of toppling the Hawks and getting the magic number down to one, possibly solidifying the No. 1 seed Saturday with a Celtics loss against Charlotte, the Cavs threw away that chance.

"Yesterday [Thursday] was just a bad day for me and my knee", Irving said. They will likely face a tough, but winnable first-round matchup against either the Wizards or Raptors before playing one of Boston or Cleveland in the East semifinals. But I did everything possible just to recover and just come in today and felt good.

Lue could have went with "sorry" to describe his team's effort.

"Just stupid, man", said Lue, who compared the loss to others in the past when the Cavs fell flat against undermanned opponents (Memphis last season; New Orleans this year). "So the most important guys right now are Kyrie and LeBron, just trying to get those guys some rest if we can".

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