Saturday, March 21, 2009

CLEVELAND (AP) - Mo Williams scored 24 points, LeBron James added 22 and the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled to their eighth straight win, 102-96 over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

The loss snapped the Hawks’ seven-game winning streak.

All of Atlanta’s wins during the streak came at home, but the Hawks found circumstances much more difficult at Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavaliers are 32-1. Cleveland (56-13) has the best record in the NBA and is 16-2 since the All-Star break.

Atlanta led briefly early in the game, but the Cavaliers went on a 12-0 run late in the first quarter to build a 23-9 lead. The margin ballooned to 40-16 early in the second quarter, leading to an afternoon of frustration for the Hawks.

Atlanta coach Mike Woodson picked up technicals in the second and third periods, and was ejected by official Joe Forte with 6:30 left in the third period. Mike Bibby and Josh Smith were also hit with technicals in the third period.

After trailing 100-84 with 3:06 to play, Atlanta cut the margin to 102-96 with 39.4 seconds left against the Cavaliers’ reserves, but the Hawks missed two 3-point attempts as the clock ran out.

Joe Johnson led Atlanta with 24 points, while Flip Murray added 22. Maurice Evans scored 15 and Bibby had 14.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas passed the 10,000 career point mark in the first period when he hit two foul shots. He scored 16 points.

Williams was 8-of-14 from the field, including 3-of-4 on 3-pointers, and made all five of his free-throw attempts.

James played 40 minutes, hitting 9-of-21 from the field to go along with seven rebounds and five assists.

The Hawks have lost three straight road games and are 14-22 away from home.

Notes:@ After just completing a seven-game homestand, the Hawks return home for four more home games. … Atlanta plays only five times on the road in March. … Cavs F Anderson Varejao was questionable after banging his right leg into Portland’s Greg Oden on Thursday, but had six points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes. … Cleveland is 3-1 against Atlanta this season. The Hawks snapped the Cavaliers’ 11-game winning streak with a 97-92 victory at Atlanta on Dec. 13. … Cleveland travels to New Jersey Sunday night.

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