Kurt Helin

Associated Press

Hawks’ Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore send Cavaliers to first loss

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 28 points and the Atlanta Hawks handed the reigning NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers their first loss of the season, 110-106 on Tuesday night.

Cleveland (6-1) cut a 96-81 deficit early in the fourth quarter to 101-97 on LeBron James‘ basket with 3:14 to play. The Hawks scored the next six points, but 3-pointers by James and Kyrie Irving made it 106-103 with 48 seconds left.

Paul Milsap’s basket pushed the lead to five, but Kevin Love converted a three-point play with 25 seconds remaining. Bazemore’s jumper from the corner with 7 seconds left put the game away.

Bazemore scored 25 points while Millsap added 21. Dwight Howard, who received four stitches for a bloody lip in the first half, had 17 rebounds.

Irving led Cleveland with 29 points. Love added 24 while James, who scored two points in the first half, had 23.

Atlanta finished the second quarter on a 22-6 run to lead 53-42. James didn’t score until he hit a jumper late in the first half.

Atlanta scored the first five points of the third quarter and stretched the lead to 58-42. James hit two free throws, a 3-pointer and two layups during a 15-3 run that got Cleveland back in the game.

J.R. Smith‘s 3-pointer late in the third period made it a two-point game but Bazemore made three free throws with less than a second remaining in the quarter.

Millsap hit a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play, helping Atlanta rebuild the lead to 96-81, but Cleveland scored the next 10 points and cut the margin to 98-94 on Channing Frye‘s 3-pointer.

Hawks guard Kyle Korver did not travel to Cleveland after the birth of his third child Sunday.

Atlanta had lost 11 straight to Cleveland, including playoff sweeps the last two seasons.

TIP-INS

Hawks: Korver is expected to play Wednesday night when Atlanta hosts Chicago. … C Mike Muscala took a hard fall to the court after a dunk in the first quarter but remained in the game. … F Mike Scott (left knee) and C Tiago Splitter (right hamstring) remain sidelined, leaving Atlanta with 12 active players.

Cavaliers: F Tristan Thompson was scoreless with two rebounds in 25 minutes. … Cleveland was 11 of 42 on 3-point attempts. … Cleveland Indians players Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley attended the game.

 

Watch Marc Gasol hit game winner as Grizzlies beat Nuggets

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There were just 0.7 seconds left, and the Grizzlies were down by one.

It was going to take a perfect pass from Vince Carter. The Grizzlies got it.

Emanuel Mudiay defended it well, he just wasn’t tall enough. Kenneth Faried got picked off his man and couldn’t recover.

And Marc Gasol hit the shot that gave Memphis a dramatic 108-107 win. If Memphis is going to make the playoffs, this is the kind of win they need, even early in the season.

 

Watch Karl-Anthony Towns put Brook Lopez in a poster

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Good on Brook Lopez for rotating over and going for the block at the rim.

But it doesn’t end well for him.

Karl-Anthony Towns attacked the rim after Trevor Booker mistakenly overplayed the pass, and when he goes to the rim he finishes.

Brooklyn got the win in a hard-fought game, 119-110, and that’s a quality victory for them against a Timberwolves team that is still not defending well for Tom Thibodeau.

Watch Hawks’ Mike Muscala with best dunk of his career, then hard fall

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That’s gonna leave a mark.

I didn’t know the Hawks’ Mike Muscala had that dunk in him. Dwight Howard had gone back to the locker room to deal with a small cut (or so it appeared) and Muscala was in during the first quarter against the Cavs.

Thabo Sefolosha drove, Muscala timed it perfectly, threw it down hard — then a little contact in the air send him to the ground flat on his back.

The good news, Muscala stayed in the game.

Thanks in part to defensive chaos, 1-5 Wizards ‘frustrated’

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WASHINGTON (AP)  — After the Washington Wizards lost for the fifth time in six games under new coach Scott Brooks, shooting guard Bradley Beal stood in the home locker room and spoke in hushed tones, trying to wrap his head around what’s gone wrong so far.

“We don’t want to be 1-5 right now. Everybody’s frustrated. Everybody’s mad,” Beal said. “At the end of the day, we all got to look at ourselves in the mirror individually first, before we start pointing fingers. Just try to figure out how we can get better. We all got to play better individually, one through 15.”

The problems are adding up already for a club that made two consecutive trips to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs before going 41-41 and missing out last season, costing Brooks’ predecessor, Randy Wittman, his job.

A .500 record would sound great at this point; only the Philadelphia 76ers, at 0-6, are worse in the East. Heading into Wednesday’s game against the visiting Boston Celtics – and things don’t get any easier after that, with LeBron James and the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers in town on Friday – the Wizards are among the league’s poorest defensive teams, and they’re not scoring all that much, either.

Hardly an ideal combination. And Brooks thinks there’s a connection, because when his players aren’t putting the ball in the basket, he senses that they lose the will to keep opponents from racking up points.

“That happens, and that’s not a good trait for a basketball team. You can’t ride the roller coaster of making shots, because if you have a great night, you’re (still) going to miss half your shots. And in order to have a great defensive night, you can’t have that dictate your defensive intensity, your defensive disposition,” Brooks said Monday night after Washington’s 114-106 loss to James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

The Wizards allowed the Rockets to make 52 percent of their field-goal attempts, including 46 percent of their 3-pointers.

“We’re not going to pitch a no-hitter,” Brooks added. “When they made a couple shots, we got down, and we’ve got to correct that.”

The type of stretch he’s talking about came against Houston in the second quarter, when Washington missed 10 shots in a row during a 16-0 run for the visitor.

Afterward, an irritated-sounding Brooks criticized his players for not putting forth maximum defensive effort for a game’s full 48 minutes, saying: “We’ve talked about it enough. Now we have to do it.”

It echoed Wittman’s frequent lament about his team’s defense, and the numbers are pretty stark this season.

Washington is tied for the worst opponent 3-point shooting percentage in the 30-club NBA at 39.5, and ranks second-worst in overall shooting-percentage defense at 46.7. The Wizards are giving up 105.5 points per game.

All-Star point guard John Wall, who broke Hall of Famer Wes Unseld’s franchise record for career assists before getting ejected in the final minute Monday, conceded that Brooks is correct. He pointed to problems in transition defense, in particular, and allowing open tries on 3s.

“We just have lapses,” Wall said. “When we turn the ball over or take bad shots, we have lapses where we don’t get back.”

Part of the bigger-picture problem is that Washington is not able to overcome its defensive woes with its offense: It’s one of only nine teams in the league averaging under 100 points (98.7) and ranks 27th in 3-point shooting percentage (29.4).

It’s adding up to loss after loss for a club that began the season expecting a return to the playoffs.

“We know there’s a lot of games left,” Wall said, “but you can’t keep falling back any further.”

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