LeBron James’ 29 points lead Cavs past Hawks, 110-108 in OT
ATLANTA (AP) — LeBron James had 29 points to pass another Hall of Famer on the NBA’s all-time scoring list and the Cleveland Cavaliers recovered after blowing a big first-half lead to beat the Atlanta Hawks 110-108 in overtime on Friday night.
James had 16 rebounds and nine assists, just missing a triple-double.
The Cavaliers still lead Toronto, which won at Memphis, by 2 1/2 games in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
James moved past Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson into 11th place on the NBA’s scoring list when he scored on a layup late in the third quarter. Atlanta’s Al Horford was called for goaltending on the play.
The basket gave James 26,711 points. He began the night 21 points behind Robertson’s 26,710 points.
The Cavaliers led by 21 points in the second quarter. Atlanta charged back to briefly take the lead in the third quarter. Cleveland led by 11 early in the fourth quarter before Atlanta forced the extra period.
Horford missed a 3-pointer at the end of overtime.
James made one of two free throws to give Cleveland a 105-104 lead. Paul Millsap, who had 29 points and 12 rebounds, missed a short jumper with 25.8 seconds remaining. Kyrie Irving, who had 20 points, made five of six free throws in the final 20 seconds of overtime.
Cleveland snapped a streak of five straight losses in Atlanta over four seasons.
Jeff Teague had 28 points and nine assists for Atlanta, which has lost two straight after winning nine of 10.
James moved past Robertson only one night after passing former Hawks Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins for 12th place.
With the game tied at 96-all late in regulation, James missed an 18-foot jumper, and Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore grabbed the rebound with 4.9 seconds remaining.
The Hawks couldn’t get off a shot. Cleveland’s Iman Shumpert stole the ball from Teague as the fourth quarter ended.
Cleveland took its biggest first-half lead at 55-34 when Atlanta’s Thabo Sefolosha dribbled the ball off his foot for a turnover, setting up a fast break that ended with a power jam from James.
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue played parts of four seasons with the Hawks from 2004-08. Lue said he received a warm greeting in making his first return to Atlanta since being hired as coach on Jan. 22.
“It feels good to come back and see people who treated you well over the course of your career,” Lue said.
Cavaliers: Cleveland’s previous win at Atlanta on Nov. 30, 2012. ... Kevin Love had 15 points. Thompson had nine points and 14 rebounds. J.R. Smith made four 3s for 12 points. ... The teams met for the first time since Nov. 21, when the Cavaliers took a 109-87 home win over the Hawks. They play again at Cleveland on April 11.
Hawks: Atlanta is 0-5 in overtime games this season. ... Atlanta-based hip-hop recording artist T.I. performed at halftime. ... The Hawks’ 16 turnovers led to 16 points for Cleveland. ... Horford had 14 points and nine rebounds. Korver also had 14 points.