CLEVELAND — Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas, who isn’t expected to play until January due to a right hip injury, went through a fairly vigorous on-court workout Sunday before his struggling team lost 117-115 to the Atlanta Hawks at Quicken Loans Arena.
Asked if Thomas could possibly play prior to January, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue didn’t give a direct answer, saying he didn’t know.
“The staff’s doing a great job of trying to get him ready, trying to get him right,” Lue said. “We don’t want to rush him. Everyone’s doing a good job of taking it slow and making sure they’re rehabilitating him the right way. We’ll just go from there.”
In other injury news, Cavs guard Iman Shumpert, who missed his fourth straight game due to right knee soreness, is scheduled to go through a full practice today. Lue is hopeful Shumpert can play Tuesday when Cleveland hosts Milwaukee.
Center Tristan Thompson missed his second straight game with a left calf strain and is expected to be out three to four weeks.
While the Cavs suffered another horrendous loss against the Hawks, there were two bright spots.
Dwyane Wade had his best game of the season with 25 points on 8-for-19 shooting, 11 rebounds and six assists, though he closed the game by going 4-for-15, including 1-for-5 on 3-pointers.
Kyle Korver added a season-high 23 points and made 5-of-11 3-pointers, with 19 of his points coming in Cleveland’s fourth-quarter comeback.
Overall, the Cavs bench had 64 points, but starters Kevin Love (four), Jae Crowder (five), J.R. Smith (six) and Derrick Rose (10) combined for just 25 on 9-for-29 shooting in 95 minutes.
“Our bench gave us a great lift,” Lue said. “Anytime your team has (a season-high) 64 points off the bench, you should win that game. It was just a tough loss.”
Korver, who was 7-for-9 from the field overall and 5-for-7 on 3-pointers in the fourth period, agreed after the Cavs fell behind by
16 points in the first period and were still down 16 with nine minutes to go.
“It’s just a little frustrating,” he said. “I don’t believe we can quite put our fingers on why, but we’ve definitely had slow starts. We’ve had lulls every game when we haven’t brought the juice that we need. We’ll keep talking about it and keep watching film, and hopefully one of these days this is going to turn around because I think we’re all pretty tired of it.”
A look back
LeBron James, who scored a career-high 61 points for Miami on March 3, 2014, tied Kyrie Irving’s franchise record for points in a game and set a team record for points in a regulation game with 57 in Cleveland’s 130-122 win at Washington on Friday.
It was the 11th 50-point game of James’ 15-year career, which ties for the sixth most in NBA history.
Some other items of note from that night:
- James made 23 of 34 field goals, which set a franchise record and career high for makes in a game, was 2-for-4 on 3-pointers and perfect on nine free throws. He added a game-high 11 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks in 43 minutes.
- At 32 years, 308 days, James became the youngest player in league history to score 29,000 points.
- James (10,538 through Sunday) passed Kevin Garnett (10,505) and John Havlicek (10,513) to move into 11th place in league history in field goals made.
- The four-time league MVP passed Shawn Marion (1,759) for 18th in NBA history in steals and has 1,762 through Sunday.
- James extended his streak of double-figure scoring games in the regular season to 800, then made it 801 Sunday vs. Atlanta. Only Michael Jordan (866) has had more double-figure games in a row.
- The Hawks entered Sunday last in the Eastern Conference standings, 27th in the league in point differential (9.0), 26th in field goal percentage (.431) and 25th in scoring (101.1), but they were first in free throw percentage (.832).
- The Cavs’ 130 points vs. Washington were a season high and came on .561 shooting (46-for-82), .444 3-point shooting (12-for-27) and a .929 performance at the line (28-for-30). Against Atlanta, Cleveland was 42-for-96 from the floor (.438), 10-for-36 on 3-pointers (.278) and 21-for-23 at the line (.913).