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RECAP: Cleveland Cavaliers fall to Atlanta Hawks, 133-111, in 2018-2019 home opener

The Cleveland Cavaliers suffered a 133-111 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2018-2019 home opener at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Sunday night.
Credit: Ken Blaze
Atlanta Hawks guard Kent Bazemore (24) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. (22) during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

8:26 p.m.-CAVALIERS FALL TO HAWKS IN 2018-2019 HOME OPENER

CLEVELAND -- A good start means little without a strong finish, and the Cleveland Cavaliers were reminded of that by the Atlanta Hawks.

The Cavaliers started strong against Atlanta in the first quarter, but with struggles to make shots, get back in defense and to keep possession of the ball, they could not match up against the offensive firepower of the Hawks and suffered a 133-111 loss in the 2018-2019 home opener at Quicken Loans Arena Sunday night.

The Hawks knocked down 48 of their 98 attempts from the field, including a 22-of-47 showing from three-point range, while the Cavaliers converted 46 of their 99 tries from the floor and only 10 of their 27 looks from beyond the arc.

Hawks rookie Trae Young led all scorers with 35 points to along with 11 assists, and he had plenty of help as guard Kent Bazemore (23), center Alex Len (16), forward Taurean Prince (14) and reserves Omari Spellman (17) and DeAndre’ Bembry (13) each scored in double figures.

Reserve guard Jordan Clarkson scored a team-high 19 points for the Cavaliers, while point guard George Hill and power forward Kevin Love added 16 points each in the loss. Although Love had a double-double with the 16 points and 17 rebounds, he scored just two points in the second half.

Center Tristan Thompson (11 points) and forward Cedi Osman (12) also scored in double figures for the Cavaliers against the Hawks.

The Cavaliers (0-3) will look to get their first win of the 2018-2019 season against the Brooklyn Nets at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night.

7:55 p.m.-CAVS TRAIL HAWKS AFTER THIRD QUARTER

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers nearly matched the Atlanta Hawks, basket for basket, in the third quarter, but after 36 minutes of play, they found themselves on the wrong end of a 92-86 score in the 2018-2019 home opener at Quicken Loans Arena Sunday night.

Despite going 12 of 30 from the field and only two of 11 from three-point range out of the break, the Hawks built upon their halftime lead with nine points from guard Trae Young and eight more from forward Taurean Prince in the third quarter.

The Cavaliers committed five turnovers, which led to seven Hawks points in the third quarter.

Starting shooting guard Rodney Hood led the Cavaliers in scoring with 13 points on six-of-seven shooting in the third quarter.

7:15 p.m.-WATCH: COLLIN SEXTON THROWS ALLEY-OOP TO GEORGE HILL IN CLEVELAND CAVALIERS’ HOME OPENER

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers are not afraid to push the tempo, especially when power forward Kevin Love is triggering an inbounds pass and can use his 6-foot-10 frame to outlet the ball well down the court for a teammate.

Late in the second quarter, the Atlanta Hawks trimmed the Cavaliers’ lead down to a point with a free throw from guard Trae Young, but Cleveland was quick to respond, as Love utilized what the Cavaliers have taken to calling the “hockey assist” over the last few seasons to get the ball to rookie guard Collin Sexton.

After corralling the throw from Love, Sexton lobbed a pass of his own to point guard George Hill, who sent home the dunk that extended the Cavaliers’ lead to three points, 58-55.

Love took the ball after it came through the hoop on Young’s free-throw conversion and set up his down-the-floor pass even before his second foot was planted on the ground underneath the basket.

While the Hawks struggled to get back in transition, Sexton caught the pass beyond midcourt and took just one left-handed dribble before pulling up at the three-point line and lobbing a pass from the left wing to Hill, who was cutting to the basket from the right side of the floor.

In one motion, Hill caught the pass and threw down the two-handed dunk.

7:13 p.m.-CAVALIERS TRAIL HAWKS, 64-60, AT HALFTIME

CLEVELAND -- While the Cleveland Cavaliers had a strong showing in the first quarter, the opposite proved to be the case in the second period against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2018-2019 home opener at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavaliers were outscored by 14 points, 40-26, in the second quarter and trailed the Hawks, 64-60, after the first half of play in front of the home fans.

The Cavaliers made just 10 of their 22 attempts from the field and two of their five attempts from three-point range, while the Hawks continued their hot shooting from long distance and knocked down four of 10 from beyond the arc in the second quarter.

Including the three-pointers, the Hawks made 12 of their 22 looks from the field in the second quarter. Also, the Hawks made good on all 12 of their shots from the free-throw line in the second quarter after not getting a single attempt from the charity stripe over the first 12 minutes of play.

Guard Trae Young led the way for the Hawks with 21 points, while guard Kent Bazemore and center Alex Len added 10 each in the first half of play.

Power forward Kevin Love led the Cavaliers with 14 points and eight rebounds, while guard Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to score 11 points over the first half of play.

6:56 p.m.-WATCH: LARRY NANCE JR. SETS UP SAM DEKKER FOR SLAM DUNK IN CLEVELAND CAVALIERS’ HOME OPENER

CLEVELAND -- Ball movement was key to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ early-game success against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2018-2019 home opener at Quicken Loans Arena Sunday, and nowhere was that more evident than when center Larry Nance Jr. set up Sam Dekker for a slam dunk late in the first quarter.

Instead of taking a shot from inside the paint, Nance Jr. utilized a pump fake to get Hawks forward Alex Poythress in the air and out of position. With a clear passing lane after the pump fake, Nance Jr. slipped a pass to Dekker and the veteran forward threw down a two-handed slam that brought the crowd to its feet.

Two possessions earlier, Nance Jr. kicked out a pass to his long-time teammate, Jordan Clarkson, and the fifth-year professional buried a three-pointer that put the Cavaliers in front of the Hawks by 10 points, 29-19, with 1:54 to play in the first quarter.

Nance Jr. added another assist early in the second quarter when he gave the ball to Clarkson and the veteran guard buried his second three-pointer of the game.

Two possessions later, Dekker returned the favor and set up Nance Jr. for a layup that gave the Cavaliers a 46-32 lead with 8:48 to play in the first half.

6:38 p.m.-CAVALIERS LEAD HAWKS AFTER FIRST QUARTER

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers came out running in their home opener and utilized a fast start from power forward Kevin Love to a 34-24 lead over the Atlanta Hawks at Quicken Loans Arena Sunday night.

Love made four of his first six attempts from the field and led the way with a 10-point, five-rebound effort over the first 12 minutes of play.

Thanks to solid three-point shooting, the Hawks got back into the game later in the first quarter. Although the Hawks made only nine of their 21 attempts from the field in the first period, they knocked down six of their 10 looks from three-point range.

6:25 p.m.-WATCH: KEVIN LOVE HITS LAYUP AFTER SLICK PASS FROM CEDI OSMAN IN CLEVELAND CAVALIERS’ HOME OPENER

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers got a limited look at what forward Cedi Osman could do to help the team during the 2017-2018 season, but with a retooled roster, the second-year man is showing he can do a little bit of everything.

In the first quarter of the 2018-2019 home opener at Quicken Loans Arena, Osman fired a pass to a driving Kevin Love, and the veteran power forward converted a contested layup on the short side of the hoop that put the Cavaliers in front of the Hawks, 15-7, with 6:27 left in the first quarter.

After catching the inbounds pass from Love on the left wing, Osman squared up to the basket, and used the space given him by a defender to see a passing lane and thread the needle to Love, who went up with the right hand on the left side of the hoop and got the layup to go for the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers held a 34-24 lead over the Hawks after the first quarter.

Over the first 12 minutes of play, Love made four of his first six attempts from the field and led the way with a 10-point, five-rebound effort. Love was plus-11 in 10:22 of playing time, meaning the Cavaliers bested the Hawks by nearly a dozen points when he was on the floor.

Osman had three assists and was plus-eight in the first quarter.

6:10 p.m.-CAVS CELEBRATE HOME OPENER AT THE Q

CLEVELAND -- A new era of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball got underway last Wednesday night in Toronto, and now, for the first time in the 2018-2019 season, the team will play in front of the home fans at Quicken Loans Arena.

After back-to-back road losses to the Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves, the Cavaliers (0-2) have returned to The Q to battle the Atlanta Hawks.

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