ATLANTA (AP) — Mike Scott ended a scoring slump with 26 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat Cleveland 117-98 on Friday night in a costly setback for the Cavaliers’ late-season playoff push.
The Hawks, who began the night percentage points behind the New York Knicks in the race for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, set a season high with 39 first-quarter points and never trailed.
Atlanta had lost seven of eight but recovered with strong games by Scott and Jeff Teague, who had 20 points and 12 assists.
The Cavaliers, who had won five of six to move within two games of the Hawks and Knicks, lost an opportunity to possibly move within a game of eighth place.
Dion Waiters led Cleveland with 23 points. Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Kyrie Irving and Luol Deng each had 13.