No rest for LeBron, Kyrie until 1-seed clinched

There is also speculation that Irving might be shut down for the rest of the regular season so as not to aggravate the injury in time for the postseason. And when the Hawks needed someone to stop the collapse, they called upon their returning All-Star.

Irving left the game in the third quarter and went to the locker room because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, but returned to the game in the fourth quarter.

Skal Labissiere had 25 points for the Kings, and Ty Lawson added 20 points and 11 assists.

"You expect for us to want to get better, and we were doing that and we took a couple steps back tonight", James said.

"Obviously, the last 10 games we've been 5-5", he said.

Despite the loss, Cleveland remains in first place in the Eastern Conference with an overall record of 51-28.

That said, the Celtics, Raptors, and now the Hawks are teams to watch against the Cavaliers, but again, a seven-game playoff series is another story for those teams, including the Celtics. "For us, we've just got to think about what's ahead and move onto the next game".

The Cavs team failed to protect a nine-point lead midway through the third quarter and fell behind by as many as 20 in the fourth to slip to a 114-100 loss.

Boston was led by Isaiah Thomas with 35 points and Jae Crowder with 24. Millsap hit all three foul shots to make it 111-109 with eight seconds to go. "Ball movement, definitely ball movement", Millsap told reporters of the key to the scoring output. "Things we've tried to get better at all year".

"For three quarters, we played Cavaliers basketball".

The disturbing aspect of this week's games against Cleveland and Atlanta is not that they were losses.

The Cavs held a 26-point lead and completely blew it. Tipoff from Philips Arena in Atlanta will be at 3:30 p.m. ET. Bazemore scored 13 points on 4-for-8 shooting.

"These guys are an incredible group", Budenholzer said of the Cavs.

Although they had all but one of those absentees back on Sunday, the Cavaliers appeared to be rolling toward a payback victory until the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter however, showed how unstable the team truly is. He committed a turnover by failing to inbound the ball with 18 seconds remaining and fouled Millsap on a 3-point attempt 10 seconds later.

Boston was within 121-116 after Avery Bradley made three free throws with 26.3 remaining.

Although listed as questionable before the game with knee and wrist injuries, Hardaway buried a pair of 3-pointers and delivered a vicious dunk during a 12-0 run when the Hawks put it away, shocking a sellout crowd and the Cavs who seem to have much more to worry about than their playoff seeding. "If he feels good, I think he should get a game or two just to get some kind of feel".

NOTES: Boston coach Brad Stevens said he had no plans to rest the regulars before the playoffs begin.

Live Score Updates are available on official Twitter pages of Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks. Millsap and Bazemore are available, but will play measured minutes until back to full strength. Sefolosha and F Kris Humphries were inactive for the Hawks.

  • Julie Sanders