Photo: Gregory Smith/AP
In the first of a two-game set, it was the Cavaliers fourth quarter defense, the one element that has united all of their recent wins, and clutch baskets from Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Delonte West that gave the Cavaliers their 10th win in their last 11 games and put them on top of the Eastern Conference standings for the first time all season.
Cavalier killer extraordinaire: One player who licks his chops every single time he sees a wine and gold uniform is Jamal Crawford. Drafted by the Cavs and traded on draft day for center Chris Mihm, Crawford has held an apparent vendetta against the team who picked him then turned around and traded him. In stops with New York, Golden State, Chicago, and now Atlanta, one thing has been consistent, his lights-out shooting against the Cavaliers. In fact, in his last 17 games against the Cavaliers (from 2003-2004 season to present), Crawford is averaging 24.4 points per game against the Cavaliers, compared to his 15.3 career scoring average. That's absolutely stunning, and it's another reason why you better bet Crawford will be ready to do the same tomorrow night.