Teague leads Hawks past Cavaliers, 102-94

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm •  Published: December 28, 2012
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Atlanta coach Larry Drew had a simple message for Jeff Teague a few days ago: Be more aggressive.

The Hawks point guard is a good listener. Teague posted a career-high 27 points and Atlanta scored the game's final nine points to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-94 on Friday night.

"I'd like to take credit for it, but I can't," Drew said. "He just came out and played. When he plays with that energy, he makes us a much better team."

Teague's jumper from the foul line gave the Hawks a 95-94 lead with 2:32 remaining to spark the late run.

"I was just being aggressive," he said. "Coach pulled me aside after the Philly game and told me to bring more energy."

Teague's performance wasn't lost on his teammates, who felt he was the difference in the victory that sent Atlanta to its third straight win and raised its road record to 8-4.

"Jeff was great tonight," Hawks center Zaza Pachulia said. "This was the best game in his career. He scored my jersey number (27). We need Jeff to play like this."

Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 28 points, but the Cavaliers failed to score in the final 2:53 after taking a 94-93 lead.

Lou Williams scored 16 points for Atlanta while Al Horford added 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Dion Waiters scored 18 points for Cleveland, which had its season-high two-game winning streak end.

Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao, the league's leading rebounder, missed his fifth straight game with a bruised right knee. He's also been ruled out of Saturday's game against Brooklyn.

Both teams also sustained injuries during the game. Hawks forward Josh Smith didn't play in the fourth quarter after aggravating a hip flexor, but said he should play in Saturday's game against Indiana. Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson sustained a concussion after colliding with Anthony Morrow in the second quarter. He was down on the court for several minutes before walking to the locker room. Gibson didn't return and won't play Saturday.

Irving's drive gave Cleveland a 94-93 lead with 2:53 to play, but the Cavaliers didn't score again.

"I wasn't really happy with the execution the last two or three minutes," coach Byron Scott said. "That's an understatement and I let them know."

Teague's jumper gave Atlanta the lead for good. Horford followed with a jump shot for a three-point lead before Kyle Korver's 3-pointer stretched the lead to eight with 1:21 remaining.

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