Both teams played tight though the first half, with Cleveland's Dion Waiters contributing 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting despite battling tendonitis in his wrist. It took all of Kyrie Irving's 40 points and nine assists to keep the Caveliers in the game.
The Cavs shot better from the floor, gathered more rebounds and shot more free throws, but Atlanta passed the ball well, ending the game +11 in assists.
The Hawks' talons came out in overtime.
Down 105-108 with 6.6 seconds left in OT, Jeff Teague came off a delayed screen to the top of the arc to hit a three and tie the game at 108.
All eyes were on Kyle Korver as he came off a double screen set by Teague and Elton Brand. The Cavs overplayed Korver, who curled back down to the free throw line as Teague faked to the lane. Brand and Korver then slid over, providing a double screen for Teague to get the pass from Pero Antic at the top of the arc and knock down the shot with 4.9 seconds left. It was an incredible play by Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer to use Korver as bait.
Jeff Teague hits a three pointer to send the game to 2OT
In the second overtime period, both teams played well but Anderson Varejao forced a jump ball with Paul Millsap with just 21.7 seconds left. Varejao won the tip, and the Hawks called timeout. Budenholzer had Teague go one-on-one against Cleveland's Tristan Thompson to hit the game-winning shot, pushing the Hawks over the Cavs 127-125.
The win moves Atlanta to 16-13 while Cleveland drops to 10-18.