Friday November 27th, 2015 3:58PM

Scott, Hawks hurt Cavaliers' playoff push, 117-98

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- A hot-shooting night has the Atlanta Hawks back in sole possession of a playoff spot.

Poor shooting cost the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game they desperately needed.

Mike Scott ended a scoring slump with 26 points and the Hawks beat Cleveland 117-98 on Friday night in a costly setback for the Cavaliers' late-season playoff push.

Atlanta moved one game ahead of the New York Knicks, who lost to Washington 90-89, in the race for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Hawks had lost seven of eight but recovered with strong games by Scott and Jeff Teague, who had 20 points and 12 assists.

"All year and under a lot of difference circumstances we've said we like our group and they're resilient," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

"They played with a lot of focus and effort and attention to detail and all the things we really talk about every night."

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown was unhappy to see his team struggle with so much on the line.

"They kicked our behind from the beginning to the end," Brown said.

The Cavaliers lost an opportunity to move within a game of eighth place. Entering the game, Cleveland had won five of six but fell three games behind the Hawks with only five games remaining in the regular season.

Brown was discouraged but stopped short of saying the Cavaliers couldn't recover from the loss.

"No, it doesn't feel like it's over but the loss is very, very disappointing," Brown said. "The way we lost it looked like we weren't playing for much out there."

Dion Waiters led Cleveland with 23 points. Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Kyrie Irving and Luol Deng each had 13 points.

Scott made 12 of 13 shots from the field. The backup forward had a combined 16 points in his past four games. He topped that with 18 in the first half.

"Finally," Scott said. "I was in a little shooting slump. I just kept being aggressive and kept getting extra shots and they finally fell."

The Hawks set a season high with 39 first-quarter points, made 58.5 percent of their shots from the field and never trailed. Atlanta led 39-23 after the first period.

"The start that we got off to was something that was important," Budenholzer said. "Defensively, I thought we had a good first quarter. I think that kind of fueled our offense and our ball movement a little bit, taking care of the ball. That gave us the cushion that we were able to keep the rest of the game."

The Hawks had 35 assists, three away from their season high.

The Cavaliers made only 5 of 21 3-pointers and shot 39.6 percent from the field overall while playing from behind the full game.

"They jumped on us early," said Cleveland's Jarrett Jack, who had nine points. "They dictated how this game was going to be played. We were playing an uphill battle all game."

The Hawks had six 3-pointers in the big first quarter and 13 for the game.

Atlanta committed nine turnovers in the second quarter, but Cleveland still outscored the Hawks only 26-22 in the period and trailed 61-49 at halftime.

As Cleveland opened the second half going almost five minutes without a field goal, Teague took over for Atlanta. Teague had nine points in the third period, including three straight baskets and a driving layup to beat the buzzer at the end of the period.

Teague added two 3-pointers in the last 3 minutes as the Cavaliers never mounted a serious challenge.

Paul Millsap had 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the Hawks. Lou Williams also had 16 points and six assists.

NOTES: The Hawks completed a sweep of the three-game series. ... After missing one game with a sore right shoulder, Cavs C Anderson Varejao had nine points and five rebounds in 27 minutes. ... Irving played his second game after missing eight games with a torn bicep muscle. ... Hawes had 13 points in the third period.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 10 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 10 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 10 months ago )
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 10 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 10 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 10 months ago )
Professional Sports
(VIDEO) Game of the Week: Rabun County aims to surpass historic mark
Rabun County football has already caught up with history -- now the Wildcats hope outrun it.
8:58PM ( 4 hours from now )
Playoffs: Quarterfinals yield no let-offs for area programs
Even though things continue to get tougher the further you go in the playoffs, none of the five area teams still remaining would give up their spot as they prepare for Friday night’s quarterfinal action.
7:25PM ( 3 hours from now )
Commerce just fine with underdog role
The underdog role suits Commerce coach Michael Brown and the Tigers just fine...
7:20PM ( 3 hours from now )
Georgia Tech beats Arkansas 83-73
By Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory's lofty standards, Charles Mitchell could have collected 20 rebounds.
11:47PM ( 16 hours ago )
Falcons sign 2nd K Shayne Graham, waive LB Joplo Bartu
With Matt Bryant slowed by a right quadriceps injury, the Atlanta Falcons have signed kicker Shayne Graham.
11:41PM ( 16 hours ago )