Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/9/13
CLEVELAND -- Guard Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 33 points to propel the Cavaliers to a 99-83 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena. Irving was magnificent on the offensive end by making 11 of 15 from the field, 5 of 6 from the 3-point line and 6 of 6 from the foul line. The 6-foot-3, 191-pounder dished out four assists. The Hawks (20-14), who entered the game with the third seed in the Eastern Conference, dropped their fourth game in a row. Their four-game winning streak at The Q also was snapped. The Cavs (9-28) used just nine players. Two others were available, swingman C.J. Miles and shooting guard Daniel Gibson, but both were coming off injuries. Cavs forward Alonzo Gee fired in 15 points, 12 in the first quarter. Power forward Tristan Thompson, who has thrived during Anderson Varejao's absence, recorded his 13th double-double of the season. He had a game-high 14 rebounds and added 11 points. Center Tyler Zeller added 11 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and three assists. The Cavs also got a strong effort from guard Shaun Livingston off the bench. He had eight points, three rebounds and a team-high five assists. Perhaps, the much-traveled Livingston has found a home in Cleveland. Forward Josh Smith paced the Hawks with 17 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. Jeff Teague added 15 points and eight assists. The Cavs are now 2-1 against the Hawks this year. The Hawks started the third quarter on an 11-2 run to knot the score at 51. The Cavs recovered and led 77-63 entering the fourth quarter. The Cavs extended their lead to nine points at halftime, 49-40. They had three players in double figures in scoring, led by Irving's 13 points. Gee added 12 points, while Thompson had 10 points and nine rebounds. For the Hawks, Smith had 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and four blocks. He was very active around the basket. Zaza Pachulia, making a rare start and added four points and seven rebounds. Gee, not known for his perimeter shooting, buried 4 of 7 3-point goals in the opening quarter. That helped the Cavs take a one-point advantage after one quarter, despite the Hawks shooting 68.4 percent in the period and outrebounding the Cavs, 13-5. Smith had nine points and three blocks in the first quarter for Atlanta. Notes: Varejao is scheduled to undergo knee surgery on Thursday at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health. He'll miss six to eight weeks. "Why, me?" he asked. "Why, me? It's something I don't have control of." For the third consecutive season, his season will be cut short by injury. He had ankle surgery in 2010-11, which caused him to miss 51 games. He had a fractured wrist in 2011-12, which caused him to miss 41 games. Now, this season, he's already missed 11 games. At the time of his injury, he was leading the NBA in rebounding at 14.4 per game. Varejao also was averaging 14.1 points and shooting 47.8 percent from the field. It's difficult for him to stay healthy because of how hard he plays. "That's how I play," he said. "That's how I help this team. This was a bad hit. He caught my knee in the right spot. I hope I don't hurt it anymore." His rehab after the surgery will take him into March, long past the NBA trade deadline. Injured players can still get traded, but the Cavs wouldn't get full value for him. ... Varejao has been replaced in the starting lineup by Zeller. After an early flourish, the 7-foot, 250-pounder has leveled off. "It's nice to be starting, but it's disappointing we've lost such a great player," Zeller said. "That experience you can't get anywhere else. We'll definitely miss him. I'll have a much bigger role now." ... Cavs forward Luke Walton (personal matter) remains away from the team. ... For the Hawks, guard Devin Harris (sore left foot) played for the first time since Dec. 18 at Washington. He's missed the previous nine games. ... Swingmen Anthony Morrow (right hip strain) and DeShawn Stevenson (knees) didn't play. The Hawks try to limit Stevenson in back-back-back sets because of his knees. "He's good," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "We want to keep him healthy." ... The Cavs might sign a big man to a 10-day contract. One possibility is Canton Charge center Micheal Eric. ... The Hawks moved Kyle Korver into the starting lineup at shooting guard to counter Miles, who didn't play. Drew also inserted Pachulia at center and shifted Al Horford to power forward and Smith to small forward. Drew said he wanted to shake things up.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mike Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

Sheldon Richardson: Locker room is better without Brandon Marshall

What's next for the Spurs?

Padres, MLB issue statements on drone crash at Petco Park

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pro Football Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy dies at 48

Report: NFL modifies injured reserve rule

Report: Cowboys DE facing four game-ban for supplement

Charlie Sheen working on ‘Major League 3’ with original cast

Report: Odell Beckham Jr. expected at OTAs Thursday after no-show

Kelvin Benjamin looks overweight and slow during drill

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker