Bounce…bounce…bounce…bounce…bounce…swish. Jeff Teague’s last second shot ended the Thursday night thriller. The Cleveland Cavaliers lost a heartbreaker tonight 127-125 in double overtime against the Atlanta Hawks.
This game did not start until the fourth quarter. Trading mediocre play and short spurts, the Hawks were unable to pull away from the Cavaliers. Every time the Cavaliers hung on the ledge, about to tumble out of the game, a few quick shots would bring them back in it—never trailing by double digits. That type of play gave the Wine and Gold a last chance to with the game with 0.9 seconds on the clock. Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, the only open player was Anderson Varejao… from three.
Jeff Teague’s first step may be one of the quickest in the league. Case in point his final drive against Kyrie Irving. Teague may have missed the lay-up, but he had proved throughout the game that he could make it past his man and into the lane anytime he wants.
Al Horford treated Cavaliers fans to something as rare as a Clevelander who doesn’t love A Christmas Story. For just the tenth time in his career Horford connected from beyond the arc. But when he is shooting over 60%, who can blame him for feeling in rhythm? Horford is shooting better than anytime in his career and will continue to have a great season.
Turnovers haunted Irving throughout the game. In one of his worst ball-handling performances of the year, Kyrie shot a 12-33, with 40 points. Irving lives for overtime, coming through with clutch shots in both overtime periods, but his turnovers cost the Cavs key possessions. The real difference in this game came down to second chance points and bench scoring. Varejao was at his best on the boards tonight with 16, including five offensive rebounds.
Bench scoring was the biggest difference on the stat sheet tonight. Dion Waiters again proved himself to be a top sixth man. His twenty points led the Cavaliers' bench to a total of 47. Waiters was everything a coach craves from the bench: productive and energetic.
In the end, Teague rose to the occasion pushing the game into a second overtime with a deep three and finally hitting the game ending shot. On the other side of the court, amateur mistakes cost the Cavs a game that they desperately needed.
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