NBA Special: Joe “ The Armadillo Cowboy” Johnson leads Atlanta to a thrilling 98-84 win over the Cavaliers

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NBA Special: Joe “The Armadillo Cowboy” Johnson leads Atlanta to a thrilling 98-84 win over the Cavaliers
Johnson is back and healthy - Joe Johnson scored a team-high 23 points in his best game since his recovery from an elbow surgery to lead the Atlanta Hawks past the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers, 98-84 at the Philips Arena, Atlanta
as 12,610 basketball fans witnessed a sizzling performance from the home team.
The Hawks were stronger with their typically balanced attack in their nineteenth victory of the season. Al Horford scored 18 points, Marvin Williams added 17 and Josh Smith had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks in their eighth
straight home victory.
Only three Cleveland players scored points in double figures. Antawn Jamison contributed 23 points for the Cavaliers in the defeat. Mo Williams registered 18 points and grabbed 11 assists, while Daniel Gibson posted 12 in the season’s
21st defeat for the Cavaliers. Anderson Varejao had 13 rebounds for Cleveland, who have lost 12 of their last 13 games.
Play By Play
First Quarter
In the first quarter, the Hawks played sloppy basketball and the Cavaliers took wonderful advantage of the available shots and held a slim 22-17 lead after the first.
Second Quarter 
The Cavaliers missed all six 3-pointers they attempted in the second quarter and as a result, the Hawks took charge of the court. The Hawks took the lead on a jumper by Maurice Evans with 9:38 to go in the first half and never
trailed again.
Third Quarter
In the third quarter, the Cavaliers tried hard to make the score a respectable one. However, the Hawks combined for 28 points off the bench and further expanded their lead by 77-69, heading into the final stanza.
Fourth Quarter
The Cavaliers tried hard to stay close and Ryan Hollins’ basket cut the deficit to 85-78 with 6:37 left to the final buzzer. Anyhow, Johnson responded with a 3-pointer and J.J. Hickson both missed open opportunities on the basket.
A few seconds later, Johnson nailed another 3-pointer to put the game out of reach of the opponents.
Unsung Players
Hawk’s Jamal Crawford missed his fifth straight game because of back spasms. He was confident to join his teammates on their trip to New Orleans and Milwaukee, but he still has obvious stiffness in his back.
Leon Powe of Cleveland was in uniform but did not play as he is suffering from a finger abrasion.



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