The Atlanta Hawks
Dec 17, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; The Atlanta Hawks bench celebrates in the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Reuters

This game will go down as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ worst loss since LeBron James’ return to Ohio. The Atlanta Hawks dominated on both ends of the floor and hacked out a 127-98 over James’ Cavaliers on Wednesday night making a strong statement that they are one of the Eastern Conference contenders this season.

Cleveland actually started the game well outscoring the Hawks, 36-24 after the first quarter. Then Atlanta poured it on and manhandled the Cavaliers the rest of the way six or more players scoring in double-figures for Atlanta, the best passing team in the league this season. The Hawks had 36 assists versus Cleveland and for the season averages 25.8 dimes per game.

Al Horford owned the paint with 20 points on an effective 10-of-14 field goal shooting while other starters like Paul Millsap (14 points and 8 rebounds) and DeMarre Carroll (13 points) chipped in as well. What made the Atlanta victory more impressive was that they were also missing starting point guard Jeff Teague, the team’s points (16.8 PPG) and assists (7.0 APG) leader. Atlanta shot an impressive 49-of-76 field goal (64.5%) clip for the night.

"It's a great team win," Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer said via ESPN. "You go up and down the roster, different guys contributing at different times. That's what we're trying to build, is a team."

After grabbing the halftime lead, 65-60, the Hawks dominated the Cavaliers outscoring them 62-38 in the second half. LeBron James finished with 21 points but wasn’t reinserted in the final quarter owing to the fact that Atlanta was already on the way to the blowout win. Atlanta improved to 18-7 for the season and is one of the hottest teams in the league winning 11 of their last 12 outings. Cleveland dropped to 14-10 and has lost 3 of their last four games.

Upcoming Schedule (Next 3 Games):
Atlanta Hawks: at Houston Rockets, at Dallas Mavericks, vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Cleveland Cavaliers: vs. Brooklyn Nets, vs. Memphis Grizzlies, vs. Minnesota Timberwolves