(The Sports Xchange) – The Cleveland Cavaliers have been on a three-point binge since the first of the year. On Friday, they took it step further and set an NBA record in the process.
The Cavs, who have made at least 10 in their last 13 games, made 25 three-pointers in the 135-130 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night in Atlanta. That topped the regular-season record of 24 set on Dec. 16, 2016 by the Houston Rockets against Orlando.
The Cavs also made 25 against the Hawks in the playoffs last year.
“It should have been more,” Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said.
Kyrie Irving and LeBron James combined for 81 points to lead the effort. Irving made five three-pointers and scored 43 points. James had six three-pointers and scored 38.
Derrick Williams, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye and Kyle Korver had three three-pointers apiece.
“We came in wanting to take away the three-point line,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It’s a lot harder with the way LeBron James and Kyrie Irving create attention.”
The record-setting three-pointer was made by Korver, a former Hawks player, with 1:17 left. Not only did it break the record, it also enabled the Cavaliers to withstand a furious Atlanta rally.
Cleveland led by as many as 25 points in the second half, but Atlanta cut the margin to one point on a bucket by Paul Millsap with 1:32 remaining. Korver then quelled the comeback by leaning in for his third three-pointer of the night.
“We got to 25, got comfortable and started messing around with the game, taking bad shots, and they made some good shots, some tough shots,” Lue said.
James said, “They’re a good team. They were going to make a run. We just had to withstand it.”
Atlanta (34-26) was led by Tim Hardaway Jr., who came off the bench to score a career-high 36 points – including five three-pointers – and Paul Millsap, who had 27 points and 10 rebounds.
The Cavaliers (42-18) shot 65.2 percent from the field in the first half and made 14 three-pointers.
“That first 2 1/2 quarters was great basketball,” Lue said. “That’s how we’re capable of playing. Moving the basketball, sharing the basketball, making the extra pass … that’s who we are.”
(Editing by Gene Cherry)