Ricky Rubio scored 23 points and lifted the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first win of the season, a 101-95 victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
Rubio was 9-for-15 from the field, including three 3-pointers, and added six rebounds and eight assists to help the Cavs stop their season-opening two-game losing streak.
The Cavs have won six of their last seven against the Hawks in Cleveland.
The Cavs also got 17 points and 11 rebounds from Evan Mobley. Collin Sexton, Kevin Love and Lauri Markkanen each scored 12. Jarrett Allen had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Atlanta suffered through a poor shooting night and made only 10 of 34 from deep. Trae Young scored 24 points — 15 in the first half — but was only 1-for-6 from 3-point range and had trouble getting his famed floater to fall. Cam Reddish came off the bench to score 19.
Atlanta led by as many as 13 points in the first half, going ahead 53-40 on a 3-pointer by Bogdan Bogdanovic. But Rubio made a couple of late 3-pointers to spark a rally and trimmed the Hawks lead to 55-52 lead at intermission.
Cleveland came out strong in the third quarter and scored 15 unanswered points, taking a 67-55 lead when Mobley made a free throw with 8:50 remaining. The Cavs outscored the Hawks 31-17 in the third period and led 83-72 entering the fourth quarter.
The Hawks pecked away and cut the lead to 89-86 on a basket by Clint Capela with 4:58 remaining. They got a defensive stop, but Young missed a floater, and Markkanen made a basket with 3:53 left and added a pair of free throws to give Cleveland a seven-point lead with 3:32 remaining.
Love’s 12 points passed World B. Free for 11th place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. He had four defensive rebounds and needs one more to pass John Williams for fifth place on the club’s career list.
On Monday, Atlanta will be at home against the Detroit Pistons, while Cleveland travels to play the Denver Nuggets.
–Field Level Media