Now both with the Cavaliers, Silas and Newble succumbed to frustration Saturday night after the Hawks’ 92-83 victory left Cleveland winless in eight road games this season.
Their heated argument after the game put the final touches on a miserable night for the Cavaliers, who watched star rookie LeBron James score 15 points on 3-for-16 shooting against an Atlanta team led by Shareef Abdur-Rahim’s 26 points.
“Aw, they’re just messing around,” James said with a grin as he tried to diffuse the situation.
The argument began in Silas’ office, but spilled into the locker room as Newble, a reserve guard, stormed into the Philips Arena hallway.
Silas pursued Newble from behind, shouting at him. After they exchanged insults in the hallway, Newble, who managed two points in 11 minutes, kept walking and refused to comment. Neither he nor Silas would say why they were angry with each other.
The Hawks didn’t care. They were just pleased to win after getting embarrassed in a 39-point loss Friday in San Antonio.
“You’re going to have nights like that in the NBA,” said Atlanta guard Jason Terry, who followed his two-point effort against the Spurs with 19 points against the Cavs. “It’s how you come back that matters.”
Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers, who fell to 0-8 away from home this season. Cleveland was outscored 44-26 in the paint.
“We’re not looking for excuses, but we missed a lot of open shots,” Ilgauskas said. “We missed a lot putbacks.”
James, who salvaged some respect by hitting nine of 10 free throws, was 1-for-12 from the floor after his 6-foot leaner bounced hard off the backboard with Atlanta leading 73-66 early in the fourth quarter.
The No. 1 overall draft pick drove the baseline late in third before Terry knocked his feet out from under him and James hit the floor hard.
Terry was called for a flagrant foul, but James remained in the game and hit both free throws. Kevin Ollie ended the possession with an 18-foot jumper from the right wing to cut the Hawks’ lead to 70-66 at the 1:41 mark.
“Sometimes it seems like we’re a team and sometimes it seems like we’re not,” James said. “But I think we’re all going to stick together. I think that’s the biggest concern for me and my teammates. We’re all going to try to dig down through this tough time and come together.”
Abdur-Rahim hit 10 of 15 shots from the floor and pulled down nine rebounds to help Atlanta snap a two-game losing streak at home.
The Hawks led by as many as 19 in the fourth quarter, but Jason Kapono’s 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:01 remaining made it 88-79.
Ricky Davis led Cleveland, which has lost three straight, with 16 points at halftime, but he shot 0-for-3 in the second half.
“We just outplayed them,” Atlanta guard Stephen Jackson said after scoring 10 points. “I think we showed we can play defense. We just have to do it everyday.”
The Hawks have won six straight against the Cavs at home. … Cleveland F Carlos Boozer missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle. … Chris Mihm made his first start of the season for Cleveland to replace Boozer. … F Darius Miles, who went 0-for-11 from the floor didn’t start for the first time this season as Silas went with Kapono instead. “I couldn’t buy a bucket,”Miles said.