ATLANTA – Joe Johnson scored 25 points and the Atlanta Hawks, coming off a loss that prompted their coach to say they quit, responded with their highest scoring output of the season in a 121-94 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
Johnson scored 19 of his points in the first half for Atlanta, which sat all its starters in the final quarter. Jannero Pargo, who opened the fourth with back-to-back 3-pointers, had a season-high 14 points.
Jeff Teague also scored 14 points as the Hawks moved past Friday night's 90-76 loss at Philadelphia. After the loss, which ended a four-game winning streak, coach Larry Drew said "It got tough for us and we quit."
Rookie Kyrie Irving scored 18 points to lead the Cavaliers, who have lost three straight and six of eight.
With his team facing a big deficit, Cavaliers coach Byron Scott also rested his starters in the fourth. Tristan Thompson had 16 points for Cleveland and Alonzo Gee added 14.
Asked before Saturday's game about his harsh critique of his team in Philadelphia, Drew said "What I said last night after the game is done. It's time to move on."
The Hawks improved to 5-1 since losing All-Star center Al Horford for three to four months with a torn left pectoral muscle.
The Hawks made 57.8 percent of their shots in the first half to lead 61-42 at the break, then stretched the lead to 29 at 75-46 with a 14-4 run to open the second half.
The Cavaliers also were coming off an ugly loss which drew strong criticism from Scott. Chicago's 114-75 rout of the Cavaliers on Friday was Cleveland's most lopsided home loss in team history.
"We didn't react to their physical play whatsoever — besides the whining," Scott said after that loss.
The Cavaliers had a spirited start but couldn't maintain the pace against the Hawks. After a 16-16 tie, the Hawks pulled away with a 9-0 run and kept their lead in double figures through most of the second period.
The Hawks stretched the advantage to 81-51 in the third quarter, and Pargo's two 3-pointers pushed it to 95-63 early in the fourth.
Josh Smith had 8 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals for Atlanta.
Notes: Cavaliers G Daniel Gibson was held out for personal reasons. ... Irving had seven turnovers with two assists. ... Hawks C Zaza Pachulia made his third start and had 13 points. ... G Kirk Hinrich, who has missed the first 17 games of the season while recovering from left shoulder surgery, said he hopes to play during Atlanta's upcoming five-game trip. ... Dr. Xavier Duralde, who performed the surgery on Horford, checked the center on Saturday and said Horford can begin strengthening work in six weeks.