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Hawks Beat Cavs At the Line

Mike Fratello cried foul once during the game and several times afterward.

The Cleveland Cavaliers' coach got a technical foul for his in-game call, then made some angry post-game remarks following a 108-94 loss to the Atlanta Hawks Thursday night in which his team was outscored by 34 points at the foul line.

"That was not right what happened out there," Fratello said after the Hawks made 46 of 52 free throws to 12 of 17 by Cleveland. "I got the technical for yelling `foul' when Christian Laettner fouled one of our guys. I have no problem with that."

"I'm a little concerned because this same crew threw me out of a game a year ago for the first time in 10 years. It makes you wonder. I find it very hard to understand how there can be such a disparity as 52 to 17. It's very difficult and frustrating to players when you feel you are not able to play and compete because things are being seen differently."

The Hawks did view it quite differently, of course.

"Those fouls were because we went to the basket," said Tyrone Corbin, whose season-high 23 points helped Atlanta snap a two-game losing streak.

"We moved the ball around and caught them in a situation where they would be off balance and had to foul."

Laettner and Steve Smith each scored 18 and Mookie Blaylock 17 for Atlanta.

"You've got to forget the officials and not worry about it," said Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens, who also got a technical. "We came out and made some defensive adjustments and that's what turned the game."

Rookies Zydrunas Ilgauskas led Cleveland with 20 points and 11 rebounds and Cedric Henderson had 16 points for the Cavaliers, who lost their second straight.

Atlanta took command with a 20-2 run in the third quarter to turn a 52-44 deficit into a 10-point lead, 64-54.

The Hawks held a 14-0 edge from the foul line in the decisive quarter. With 10 minutes to play, Cleveland was just 1-for-6 from the line compared to the Hawks' 35-for-40.

"We were playing well, made a couple of mistakes and then it was all downhill," Cavaliers guard Brevin Knight said. "No matter what, good calls, bad calls, the calls were made. We needed to adjust and we did not."

Shawn Kemp and Wesley Person each scored 13 for Cleveland. Person was scoreless in the second half.

Fratello said he will place a call to the NBA on Friday and ask the league to review tapes of the game.

"I can be wrong and I will admit it if I feel that way after looking at the tape," Fratello said. "But I doubt if I will be 52-17 wrong."

NOTES: Atlanta's 46 free throws tied a Cavaliers opponents' record set in the club's first season by the San Diego Rockets on Oct. 22, 1970. ... Wilkens needs one win for 1,100 in his career. ... Atlanta is 22-2 when leading after three quarters. ... Cavs reserve guard Scott Brooks scored a season-high 10 points. ... Cleveland Indians outfielder Kenny Lofton, a former poin guard at the University of Arizona, took part in a top-of-the-key shooting contest during a timeout. He tossed an air ball. ... Cavs reserve forward Henry James will undergo hemorrhoid surgery Friday and is expected to be sidelined 7-10 days..

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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