Published March 27, 2011
| Associated Press
CLEVELAND – Marvin Williams scored a season-high 31 points and Al Horford added 20, leading the Atlanta Hawks to a 99-83 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
Atlanta played without leading scorer Joe Johnson, but never trailed. Johnson, who averages 18.5 points, sprained his right thumb Saturday, but the Hawks didn't need him to defeat the Cavaliers, who have the worst record in the NBA.
Williams took advantage of his increased playing time by shooting 9 of 14 from the field, including three 3-pointers, and 8 of 9 from the foul line in 43 minutes. Josh Smith scored 13 points and had a season-high 18 rebounds.
Baron Davis, who is expected to move into Cleveland's starting lineup soon, came off the bench and scored 19 points. Ramon Sessions added 13 points for the Cavaliers, who have lost nine of 11.
The Hawks, who clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by beating New Jersey on Saturday, scored the first eight points and led by as many as 11 in the first quarter. Atlanta was ahead 52-39 at halftime and built the lead to 19 in the third quarter.
Horford had 10 rebounds. Kirk Hinrich scored 13 points while Jeff Teague added 10 for the Hawks, who shot 50 percent from the field.
The Cavaliers missed their first eight shots and didn't score until J.J. Hickson put in an offensive rebound at the 6:50 mark.
Daniel Gibson scored 11 points, while J.J. Hickson and Alonzo Gee scored 10 points apiece for Cleveland, which was held to 36.8 percent shooting.
Forward Samardo Samuels, who scored nine points in 22 minutes, left the game in the second half with a sprained right wrist. X-rays were negative.
Cleveland, which beat Detroit on Friday, hasn't won back-to-back games since winning three straight Nov. 5-9. The Cavaliers host Miami on Tuesday night, marking LeBron James' second game in Cleveland since signing with the Heat in July. James was greeted with a hostile reception when he returned on Dec. 2, but the Heat routed the Cavaliers 118-90.
NOTES: Hinrich took some good-natured ribbing from his teammates before the game after Kansas, his alma mater, was upset by VCU in the NCAA Tournament. ... Cleveland coach Byron Scott hopes C Semih Erden (right adductor strain) will play again before the season ends. Erden has appeared in one game since being acquired from Boston last month. ... Hall of Fame radio announcer Joe Tait worked his first game of the season Sunday. He had heart surgery in January.