Teague gets ball to bounce his way in double-OT win
by The Associated Press
December 27, 2013 12:36 AM | 559 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jeff Teague, driving against former Georgia Tech star Jarrett Jack, had a career-high 34 points Thursday, including the winning basket at the final horn of the second overtime.
<BR>Associated Press photo
Jeff Teague, driving against former Georgia Tech star Jarrett Jack, had a career-high 34 points Thursday, including the winning basket at the final horn of the second overtime.
Associated Press photo
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CLEVELAND — Jeff Teague never saw his winning shot bounce five times off the rim and fall through the basket Thursday night.

Fortunately, his teammates let him know the result.

Teague scored a career-high 34 points, including a 20-foot jumper at the buzzer in the second overtime, to give the Atlanta Hawks a 127-125 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Teague was flat on his back after shooting over Tristan Thompson and had no idea the ball went in until he was mobbed by his teammates. Only when Kyle Korver began pounding Teague’s chest did reality hit.

“I couldn’t even see it, but Kyle picked me up and told me what happened,” Teague said. “I’m really happy it went in.”

The Hawks would never have been in a position to win the game if not for Teague’s 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left that tied the game at 108-all in the first overtime.

“It was nice for this amazing game to finally be over,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Obviously, Jeff Teague made a lot of plays throughout the game and in the overtimes. I’m proud of him.”

Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 40 points, including 12 in the second OT but the Cavaliers have lost three straight and five of six.

“He made a tough play,” Irving said. “It’s definitely a heartbreaker.”

Irving was held scoreless for the only time in his career when the teams played in Atlanta on Dec. 6. He bounced back from that game by going 17-of-33 from the field with nine assists in 45 minutes.

Hawks center Al Horford, who scored two baskets late in regulation to tie the game, bruised his right shoulder in the first OT and didn’t return. Budenholzer said Horford would be further examined Friday.

The game featured 12 lead changes and was tied 17 times.

The Hawks were coming off a 121-119 overtime loss in Miami on Monday. The defeat, in which Atlanta couldn’t hold a seven-point lead with 90 seconds left in regulation, broke a three-game winning streak.

Korver scored 20 points, including four 3-pointers. He has made at least one 3-pointer in an NBA record 98 consecutive games.

“A lot of guys made some plays,” he said. “I think we’re growing as a team, so that’s a positive step.”

Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters returned after missing three games because of tendinitis in his right wrist. He scored 20 points in 41 minutes, but it was another difficult loss for Cleveland. Portland’s Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left to defeat the Cavaliers on Dec. 17.

“It’s tough, man,” Waiters said. “We have to close it out — especially at home. We have to do a better job. No excuses.”

Irving hit a 3-pointer and a layup a steal for the first five points of the second overtime. Thompson followed with a basket and a three-point play to give Cleveland a 118-113 lead with 2:50 remaining, but the Hawks weren’t finished.

Korver converted a four-point play with 2:33 remaining that cut the lead to one. Irving and Korver exchanged 3-pointers, Cleveland’s All-Star point guard followed with a jumper for a 123-120 lead.

Following Shelvin Mack’s basket, Teague converted a three-point play to put Atlanta up 125-123. Irving’s jumper tied the game with 55.8 seconds left.

Teague’s 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left tied the game at 108-all in the first overtime. The Cavaliers called timeout, but Irving lost the ball out of bounds for one of his six turnovers, giving the Hawks one last shot with 2.4 seconds to go. Teague missed from the corner, forcing the second overtime.

Two baskets by Horford, who scored 25 points, late in the fourth quarter tied the game at 95-all and neither team scored again in regulation.

Cleveland center Andrew Bynum, who missed all 11 of his shots and was scoreless Monday against Detroit, had four points and one rebound in 18 minutes. He went to the bench early in the third quarter and didn’t return.

Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll injured his right hand after running into a Tyler Zeller pick in the fourth quarter and didn’t return.

NOTES: Irving has scored at least 20 points in seven consecutive home games ... Cleveland coach Mike Brown moved F Earl Clark into the starting lineup in place of Alonzo Gee. Gee had started 15 straight games, but saw no action Thursday. Clark had three points in 18 minutes. ... Hawks G John Jenkins (lower back pain) was inactive. ... Atlanta F Cartier Martin (sprained left ankle) went through an extended workout after the morning shootaround, but didn’t play.

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