NBA: Cavs bounce back while Hawks grounded by Sixers
PHILADELPHIA, United States — The Atlanta Hawks, fresh off a victory over LeBron James and Cleveland, saw their six-game win streak snapped Saturday by the NBA’s second-worst team, Philadelphia, while the Cavaliers ripped Phoenix.
Philadelphia’s Luc Mbah a Moute and Hollis Thompson each scored a game-high 19 points to spark the 76ers over Atlanta 92-84 while Russian big man Timofey Mozgov scored a game-high 19 points to power the Cavs past Phoenix 89-79 in Cleveland.
A night after the Hawks solidified their spot as the top team in the Eastern Conference by beating Cleveland 106-97, Atlanta squandered an 11-point lead after the first quarter against the lowly 76ers, who had lost nine of their prior 10 games.
Isaiah Canaan and Robert Covington each scored 12 points while Nerlens Noel grabbed 17 rebounds for the 76ers, who improved to 14-49 on the season.
Jeff Teague scored 17 points while Dennis Schroeder added 16 points off the bench for the Hawks, who fell to 49-13 and behind Golden State (48-12) in the fight for the NBA’s best overall record.
At Cleveland, Mozgov connected on 6-of-8 shots from the floor and 7-of-8 free throws in the triumph.
Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James added 16 points while Kevin Love had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Tristan Thompson came off the bench to score 16 points and grab 12 rebounds.
The Cavaliers improved to 40-25, just ahead of Toronto and just behind Chicago in the fight for second place in the East.
Markieff Morris scored 16 points to lead the Suns, who fell to 33-31, 10th in the Western Conference and two games behind Oklahoma City for the eighth and final playoff berth in the West.