NBA: Cavs rally past Hawks behind Sexton’s 27 points

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 03 2021 11:36 AM

NBA: Cavs rally past Hawks behind Sexton’s 27 points 1
Darius Garland #10 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts with Collin Sexton #2 late in the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on January 2, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Todd Kirkland, Getty Images/AFP

Collin Sexton scored 27 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 27.9 seconds left, to lead the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers to a 96-91 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

Sexton was 10-for-18 from the floor and extended his streak of 20-point games to 11 to help the Cavs erase a 15-point second-half deficit and break a two-game losing streak.

Andre Drummond had 12 points and 11 rebounds to set a franchise record with six double-doubles to open the season.

The Hawks, who were playing the second leg of a back-to-back, grew weary in the second half. Trae Young scored a season-low 16 points, 14 below his season average, and had 10 assists. Clint Capela had a season-high 16 points and 16 rebounds, his second straight double-double, and De'Andre Hunter scored 17.

The Cavaliers, who had only 10 available players, got 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench from JaVale McGee.

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The Hawks, who defeated the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, started strong. They were sparked by Hunter's 12 points in the first quarter and led 35-25. Atlanta did not commit a turnover in the opening quarter.

Atlanta built the lead to 56-44 at halftime, with Capela logging a double-double by the break (12 points, 10 rebounds). The Cavs shot poorly in the half, making only 42.2 percent from the field and 2-for-11 on 3-pointers.

The Hawks pushed the lead to 15 points when they led 67-52, but Cleveland came all the way back to within 72-70 on Damyean Dotson's 3-pointer. Atlanta led 74-70 after three quarters.

Cleveland took the lead with Cedi Osman's 3-point basket at 9:47, which put the Cavs ahead 76-74 and they established a three-point lead when Sexton's basket made it 86-83.

Atlanta tied the game 88-88 on a 3-pointer by Bogdan Bogdanovic, but Sexton answered with the decisive basket the next trip down the floor.

Atlanta announced Danilo Gallinari would miss at least two weeks with a right ankle injury. That likely means the veteran will miss seven games.

The Hawks continue their three-game homestand on Monday against the New York Knicks. Cleveland travels to Orlando on Monday for the third stop on the six-game road trip.