Originally created 03/06/03

Hawks defeat Cavaliers



CLEVELAND -- Carlos Boozer lost 12 games in four years of high school in Alaska, and just 13 in three years at Duke. He's already lost 50 as an NBA rookie.

Playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers certainly has its drawbacks.

"Fifty games," Boozer said. "It's hard to fathom we've lost that many."

Jason Terry had 24 points and career-high 14 assists and Dion Glover made a key steal in the final two minutes Wednesday night, leading the Atlanta Hawks to a 111-105 win over the Cavaliers.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Glenn Robinson added 23 points apiece for the Hawks, who struggled to put the lowly Cavs away.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 27 points as Cleveland lost its fourth straight to drop to an NBA-worst 11-50. It's the club's fourth straight 50-loss season.

"We can't give up," said Boozer, who won two state high school championships and an NCAA title. "We've just got to keep working hard."

Terry's baseline runner over the 7-foot-3 Ilgauskas gave Atlanta a 105-102 lead with 2:02 left, and on Cleveland's next possession, Glover swiped a pass from Smush Parker and was fouled.

Glover's two free throws with 1:42 remaining put the Hawks ahead by five, but Cavs rookie Dajuan Wagner's three-point play got Cleveland within 107-105 with 26 seconds left.

Abdur-Rahim made two free throws, and the Cavs were done when Ricky Davis missed a jumper with 16 seconds to go.

Terry never left the floor, playing all 48 minutes.

"Anything I can do to help the team win," he said. "I want to be out there as much as possible, 48 minutes isn't a problem for me."

The trio of Terry, Robinson and Abdur-Rahim stepped up every time the Hawks needed a basket.

"That's the way it should be," Terry said. "We are the best three guys to make a play. When we assembled this team we knew what the big three could do. We're a confident group."

Davis, who didn't start for the second straight game, had just six points on 3-of-11 shooting and had to sit out early in the fourth quarter after spraining his left ankle.

The Cavs' decision not to start Davis isn't sitting well with the club's leading scorer (21.2 point), who considers opening the game on the floor "a privilege."

Cleveland interim coach Keith Smart said he's bringing Davis off the bench so he can evaluate other players. However, Davis wonders if there are other motives.

"I'm not happy about it," Davis said. "But I'm not going to crash my head against the wall."

Ilgauskas, who scored just four points in 32 minutes on Monday night, had 15 as the Cavs scored a season-high 36 in the first quarter to take a seven-point lead after one.

Cleveland built an 11-point lead early in the second, but the Hawks got several easy baskets and shot 69 percent (11-of-16) in the second quarter to open a 59-55 halftime lead.

Notes: The Cavs, who have lost 10 of 11, also posted 50-loss seasons from 1981-84. ... WNBA commissioner Val Ackerman remains confident in the future of her league and feels strongly a new collective bargaining agreement can be reached in a few weeks. "We are absolutely on the right track," Ackerman said before the game. "I think this year will be our strongest one yet." ... Hawks C Nazr Mohammed left in the first half with a sore foot and didn't return. ... Hawks C Theo Ratliff, the league leader in blocks, has swatted 78 shots in his last 17 games. ... G Tierre Brown, who signed a 10-day contract with the Cavs on Monday, went scoreless in three minutes.