Hawks can't stay with Cavaliers

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CLEVELAND --- LeBron James didn't reach his scoring average and it didn't matter as the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled past the Atlanta Hawks 110-96 on Saturday night for their ninth win in 10 games.

James came in as the NBA's top scorer, averaging 29.5 points. He finished with 24 -- 19 in the second half -- on 8 of 19 shooting. He added eight assists, seven rebounds and a few more highlight-package dunks as the Cavaliers improved to 10-3 and matched their best start since the 1988-89 season.

Playing for the first time since their eight-game winning streak ended in Detroit, the Cavs jumped to an 11-0 lead, pushed their advantage to 18 in the second quarter and 28 in the third while improving to 7-0 at home. Cleveland is the only Eastern Conference team not to lose on its home floor this season.

And if the Cavs play like this, it's going to be tough for anyone to beat them inside Quicken Loans Arena.

James got plenty of help as Mo Williams scored 23 points, Delonte West 19 and Zydrunas Ilgauskas 17 for Cleveland. The Cavs have won 15 of their past 18 games against the Hawks.

Maurice Evans scored 21 points, Acie Law had 20 and Joe Johnson, who came in averaging 25.7, scored just four for the Hawks, who have lost five of seven after starting 6-0.

Trailing 68-40 in the third quarter, Atlanta whittled Cleveland's big lead to 11 when James came up with another of those rim-rattling, head-shaking dunks.

Driving down the lane, James got a step on Al Horford, rose to the basket and dunked left handed over both Horford and Solomon Jones, making the pair of 6-foot-10, 245-pounders look like high schoolers.

James and the Cavaliers have a busy week upcoming. They have four games in five days, starting Tuesday in New York, where James will almost certainly have to address another round of questions about his future. James can become a free agent after the 2010 season.


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