Game 73: Cavs at Hawks
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: Point guard Kyrie Irving was held out of Monday's game. That's part of his recovery process. He'll sit out the second night of a back-to-back. The Cavs have two more back-to-backs - on April 9-10 and April 14-15.
He returned to the lineup on Sunday and scored a game-high 31 points in the 20-point loss at New Orleans. Shaun Livingston moved back into the starting lineup against the Hawks and played 36 minutes. He had 14 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals. He made 6 of 10 from the field.
The Cavs got a huge lift from center Marreese Speights, who matched his season high with 23 points, eight rebounds and one block. He was 11 of 15 from the field.
Swingman C.J. Miles didn't play in Monday's game because of a sore right ankle. Adding to the Cavs' woes, guard Daniel Gibson was ejected after being assessed two technical fouls with 7:07 left in the second quarter. Luke Walton also got a technical foul with 13 seconds left in the third.
He was lucky he didn't get a second technical after pushing forward Ivan Johnson to the floor in the fourth. I kind of liked that one, as Johnson comes off as this tough guy (he certainly looks like a hard ass with the beard, tattoos and muscles). Walton stood up to him, and certainly earned some manly points in my book.
The Cavs' outrebounded the Hawks, 44-37. However, Hawks forward Josh Smith was a beast on the boards with 18 points, a game-high 14 rebounds, eight assists and a block. In case you haven't noticed, he's pretty darn good. Is he a max player? I'd have to say no.
The Hawks are hanging onto the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. That's another reason why Coach Larry Drew is expected to be re-signed in the offseason. His contract expires after this season.
The Cavs have lost nine in a row, as well as 13 of the last 15. They are 9-28 on the road this year.
NEWS FEED: Chris Vivlamore's story on Zaza Pachulia's upcoming surgery in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
LAST GAME: The Cavs lost at New Orleans on Sunday, 112-92.
UP NEXT: The Cavs host Brooklyn at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Kyle Korver (6-7, 225)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Josh Smith (6-8, 235)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. Al Horford (6-11, 245)
SG Wayne Ellington (6-4, 200) vs. Devin Harris (6-3, 205)
PG Shaun Livingston (6-7, 175) vs. Jeff Teague (6-2, 181)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, G Dion Waiters
Hawks - C Zaza Pachulia, G Lou Williams
Ken Mauer, Brent Barnaky, John Goble