NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 1st (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (22-50) at Atlanta Hawks (41-33), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks will try to find some consistency when they resume a four-game homestand Monday versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Atlanta has alternated decisions over the last nine games and ended up on the right end of 97-88 decision over the Orlando Magic. Ivan Johnson scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds off the bench, while Josh Smith also had 21 points for the Hawks.
"It was real fun, I got a lot of work in. It was good. Certain times you need to step up. Somebody has to step it up (when the starters are out). I try, I do what I can," Johnson said.
Devin Harris added 17 points in the win, helping Atlanta improve to 23-13 at Philips Arena this season. Harris had missed the previous three games because of injury.
Hawks big man and double-double machine Al Horford missed his second straight game because of an illness and is questionable Monday. Horford leads the Hawks with 17.6 points and 10.3 rebounds.
Atlanta will also host New York and Philadelphia on the homestand and is even with Chicago for the fifth spot in the East, just 1 1/2 games behind the Brooklyn Nets.
Cleveland limps into Monday's matchup with the Hawks riding an eight-game losing streak, which continued with Sunday's 112-92 loss at New Orleans.
Cavs All-Star Kyrie Irving returned to action after an eight-game absence due to a left shoulder strain and tallied 31 points and six assists for Cleveland, which suffered its fifth straight loss on the road.
"I thought in the first half we got a little jolt from (Irving's return). But I thought it was much better in the first half than it was in the second half," Cavs coach Byron Scott said.
Tristan Thompson chipped in 12 points and 10 boards for the Cavs.
Cleveland is only 9-27 away from Quicken Loans Arena and is still without rookie guard Dion Waiters. Waiters is nursing a strained left knee and is out indefinitely.
Atlanta has dropped two of the first three matchups with Cleveland this season, but is still a dominant 8-2 in the past 10 encounters between the teams. Cleveland has lost five of eight and six of its last 10 at Atlanta.
04/01 10:26:43 ET