The Hawks' Joe Johnson (2) shoots while defended by the Cavaliers' Tristan Thompson (13), Antawn Jamison (4), and Alonzo Gee.
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CLEVELAND -- Joe Johnson scored 28 points and the short-handed Atlanta Hawks rolled to a 103-87 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.
Atlanta had only 10 players available, but took an early lead that it never relinquished.
The Hawks built a 19-point lead midway through the third quarter and answered Cleveland’s only run late in the period to win going away.
Alonzo Gee matched a career high with 20 points to lead Cleveland, which has lost three straight. Rookie Kyrie Irving scored 19 points and had 10 assists for his first career double-double.
Atlanta extended its winning streak over Cleveland to six games. Jeff Teague added 18 points for the Hawks and Kirk Hinrich scored 14.
Atlanta shot 55 percent in the first quarter with Johnson scoring 13 points. The Hawks continued their hot shooting in the second quarter, hitting 13 of 21 shots, to build a 59-45 halftime lead.
Cleveland, playing its first game since trading guard Ramon Sessions to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, struggled on both ends of the floor. Atlanta shot 50.6 percent from the field while Cleveland hit 39.3 of its shots.
Atlanta’s biggest lead came at 69-50 before the Cavaliers got back in the game with an 18-5 run that cut the lead to 74-68. Johnson scored at the end of the third quarter and started the fourth with another basket to begin an 8-0 run.
Injuries and illness left the Hawks with a thin roster. Forward Vladimir Radmanovic missed the game with a back injury sustained in Friday’s win over Washington. Forward Marvin Williams (hip flexor), shooting guard Willie Green (hamstring) and point guard Jannero Pargo (stomach virus) were also out.
Williams’ injury has forced coach Larry Drew to use a starting lineup that features Johnson, a six-time All-Star at shooting guard, playing small forward. Teague and Hinrich startedin the backcourt to go with power forward Josh Smith, and center Zaza Pachulia.
Smith scored seven points, hitting 3 of 15 from the field, but had eight rebounds and nine assists.
Rookie Tristan Thompson, the No. 4 pick in the draft, made his first NBA start at center. Thompson is a natural power forward, but Scott hasn’t been pleased with the play of Ryan Hollins and Semih Erden at center. Thompson scored seven points and had six rebounds in 35 minutes.
Antawn Jamison scored 17 points for the Cavaliers, but was 6 for 22 from the field.
NOTES: C Jason Collins, who missed the previous 21 games with a sprained left elbow, played the final three minutes. ... Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said C Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture) will be evaluated by the team’s medical staff this week. Varejao has been sidelined since Feb. 11. ... F Luke Walton, acquired in the trade with the Lakers, dressed but didn’t play. He appeared in only nine games with Los Angeles. Walton has been bothered by a back injury most of the season and has recently had gastroenteritis.
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