The Cleveland Cavaliers were handed a surprise Tuesday night. Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 28 points and the visiting Atlanta Hawks gave the reigning NBA champions their first loss of the season, 110-106.
Cleveland (6-1) cut into two large second-half deficits, but Atlanta converted clutch shots down the stretch.
Atlanta led by 18 points in the third quarter before Cleveland cut the margin to 2. The Hawks rebuilt the lead to 15 early in the fourth, but the Cavaliers got within 2 with 25 seconds remaining.
Kent Bazemore, who scored 25 points, hit a jumper from the corner with seven seconds left and put the game away.
‘‘They've dominated the Eastern Conference for a long time now,’’ Bazemore said. ‘‘They’re definitely the measuring stick, and we passed our first test tonight.’’
Atlanta had lost 11 straight to Cleveland, including playoff sweeps the last two seasons.
‘‘For my two years here, they've kicked our butts,’’ Bazemore said. ‘‘This is one of the biggest wins I've had since I've been here.’’
Paul Millsap scored 21 points for Atlanta. Dwight Howard, who received four stitches for a bloody lip in the first half, had 17 rebounds.
‘‘Give them a lot of credit,’’ James said. ‘‘They played a heck of a game. You know toward the end of the season they'll be right there.’’
Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 29 points while Kevin Love added 24, but the Cavaliers were 11 of 42 on 3-point attempts. LeBron James scored 23 points after having only 2 in the first half
‘‘I think they might have had one of those nights, but our guys were really committed out there,’’ Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ‘‘Our defense in the first half gave us a cushion, and we were able to hold them off.’’
Cleveland cut a 96-81 deficit to 101-97 on James’s basket with 3:14 to play. The Hawks scored the next 6 points, but 3-pointers by James and Irving made it 106-103 with 48 seconds left.
Milsap’s basket pushed the lead to 5, but Love converted a three-point play with 25 seconds remaining before Bazemore hit his clutch shot.
Atlanta finished the second quarter on a 22-6 run to lead 53-42. James didn’t score until he hit a jumper late in the first half.
Atlanta scored the first 5 points of the third quarter and stretched the lead to 58-42.
Hawks guard Kyle Korver did not travel to Cleveland after the birth of his third child Sunday.
Nets 119, Timberwolves 110 — Brook Lopez scored 26 points as Brooklyn kept Minnesota winless on the road.
The Nets shot 55.3 percent from the field and had eight players with at least 9 points, a surprisingly easy offensive performance against a young Wolves team that clearly hasn’t yet grasped Tom Thibodeau’s defensive schemes.
Trevor Booker added 15 points and Sean Kilpatrick had 14 for the Nets.
Andrew Wiggins scored a career-high 36 points for the Wolves, making a career-best six 3-pointers.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 21 points, but scoring wasn’t the problem for Minnesota.
The Wolves are 0-4 on the road and just 1-5 overall.
It was close most of the way, neither team having much luck stopping the other, and the Nets’ lead was just 2 after Wiggins’ jumper with 56 seconds left. Bojan Bogdanovic then made a 3-pointer with 37 seconds to go for a 115-110 lead, and Isaiah Whitehead and Bogdanovic closed it out with free throws.
Without injured point guards Jeremy Lin (strained left hamstring) and Greivis Vasquez (sore right ankle), the Nets got a scare in the first quarter when starter Whitehead had to leave the game after he fell onto the court and Gorgui Dieng accidentally stepped on his face. But he was able to return shortly after.
Grizzlies 108, Nuggets 107 — Marc Gasol scored on an inbounds pass from Vince Carter at the buzzer to lift host Memphis.
Gasol’s basket came over Emmanuel Mudiay on a high-arcing pass from Carter underneath the Memphis goal. When Carter inbounded the ball there were 0.7 seconds left.
Gasol had 19 points for the Grizzlies, who had lost two straight, while Zach Randolph added 16.
Mudiay had 23 points and Danilo Gallinari added 21 for the Nuggets.
Mudiay appeared to have led the Nuggets to a victory when he stripped the ball from Mike Conley and converted a layup with 7.9 seconds left.
But Conley came up with a steal in the closing seconds and drove the length of the court before the ball was knocked out of bounds by Denver with 0.7 seconds to go.
The Grizzlies went up 83-76 early in the fourth quarter on a twisting layup by Jarell Martin and led, 95-88, following a driving layup by Andrew Harrison midway through the quarter.
But the Nuggets battled back to take their first lead of the final period, 99-98, on a 3-pointer by Nikola Jokic, with 4:27 left.