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NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Cleveland

(Wednesday, December 30th)

Final Score: Cleveland 106, Atlanta 101

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - On LeBron James' 25th birthday, it was Anderson Varejao that got the gift, hitting his first career three-pointer to break a tie game with 17.2 seconds remaining, as Cleveland topped Atlanta, 106-101, in the conclusion of a home-and-home series between the Eastern Conference powers.

Varejao had missed all 18 of his career three-point attempts, but as the shot clock was winding down in a 101-101 tie, the 6-foot-11 forward pulled up from the left wing and sank the go-ahead basket.

Mike Bibby missed a three-point try at the other end to help the Cavaliers hold on for their sixth straight win and 11th in 12 contests.

James ended with a season-high 48 points on 15-of-23 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and six assists. Varejao and Mo Williams each scored 14, with the former pulling down nine rebounds and the latter dishing out 10 assists.

"Our guys did a terrific job led by LeBron and (Anderson), to will this win," said Cleveland head coach Mike Brown. "Those two guys, their will was unbelievable. They led us in that area and the rest of the team followed. That was the difference in the ballgame."

Joe Johnson scored 35 points for the Hawks, while Bibby chipped in 20 points and six helpers.

"It was a great game. If you're a fan or if you're watching it on TV, it was a great game tonight, both ways," said Atlanta head coach Mike Woodson.

Atlanta led for most of the game but was outscored 10-2 in the final 2:50 to fall for the eighth straight time to Cleveland, which includes a four-game sweep in the second round of last season's playoffs.

The Hawks appeared to recover from a tough 95-84 loss to Cleveland at Philips Arena on Tuesday, jumping out to a 30-23 lead after the first and improving that lead to 64-52 at the break.

James capped a 10-0 Cavs run with a three-pointer to pull within 76-74 with 4:35 left in the third. The visitors responded with nine straight, though James hit a late trey to make it an 85-77 game with 12 minutes to play.

Daniel Gibson hit a jumper 2 1/2 minutes into the fourth to give the hosts an 85-83 edge.

The lead changed hands again and a Johnson fade-away jumper with 2:50 left yielded a 99-96 Hawks lead. James then hit a layup and a free throw around a Varejao putback, which came after of a quick Hawks possession came as a result of a shot clock error.

Johnson's layup preceded Varejao's unlikely trifecta.

Game Notes

The Cavs improved to 13-2 at home...Atlanta has dropped back-to-back games for the first time since November 21-26...Shaquille O'Neal netted 11 points for the Cavs, who made 28-of-38 from the foul line, compared to a 14-of-15 effort from the Hawks...Jamal Crawford had 11 points on 3-of-12 shooting, while Josh Smith and Al Horford added 11 and 10 points, respectively, in defeat.

12/31 01:36:50 ET

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