Cavaliers suffer epic meltdown vs. Hawks, lose control of No. 1 seed in East

Cleveland was up by 26 points in the fourth quarter but lost to the Hawks in overtime and is in danger of losing the No. 1 seed in the East.

The Cavaliers spent the first three quarters of Sunday's game against the Hawks avenging a home loss to Atlantajust two days prior.

The fourth quarter however, showed howunstable the team truly is.

Cleveland was ahead 26 points entering the fourth quarter in Atlanta but went into full-on meltdown mode in the final quarter as the Hawks roared back. Paul Millsap hit a buzzer-beater to send the game into overtime and the Hawks pulled out for a 126-125 win.

With the loss, the slumping Cavaliers are now tied with the idle Celtics for the No. 1 seed in the East and are just 12-13 since the All-Star break.

Cleveland owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with Boston, whichhas two games remaining in its regular-season schedule.

LeBron James fouled out in overtime and was clearly distraught on the bench as his team became the NBA's first since 2002 to blow a 26-point fourth-quarter lead.

Despite the 32-point triple-double, James was unable to kickstart the Cavs offense in the final quarter ,which saw the Hawks outscorethe Cavs, 44-18.

Entering Sunday, the Cavs were the sixth-worst defensive team in the fourth quarter, allowing opponents to 27.2 points in the final frame.

Even if the defending champions were average on Sunday, they would be in control of their own destiny for the No. 1 seed. Now their slumping at the wrong time and face Eastern Conference contenders the Heat and Raptors to finish the season.


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