LeBron James came to play on his birthday with 48 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers edged out the Atlanta Hawks 106-101 last night at Quicken Loans Arena. Anderson Varejao wished his buddy a happy 25th with his first career three-pointer in the final seconds for the go-ahead dagger. “That’s a great gift,” said James. “I had Andy in the gift exchange and so he paid me back. That’s what friends are for.”
Varejao collected 14 points and nine rebounds in his 33 minutes played. Mo Williams and Shaquille O’Neal scored a combined 24, respectively. The Hawks were dominating throughout the contest until Cleveland surged back to outscore them by 13 in the fourth. Joe Johnson scored 35 points for the Hawks as Mike Bibby followed up with 20.
“This is a game we should’ve won,” said Johnson. “We had some unfortunate events that happened on the court and it happens. Unfortunately, we have to deal with it.” The Hawks will try to build their confidence back New Years Day against the New York Knicks. The Cavs are next set to matchup with the New Jersey Nets on Saturday.