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Cavs' Tyronn Lue: Not so fast on 'team to beat' proclamation

ATLANTA -- The Cleveland Cavaliers' point guard might consider his squad "the team to beat" in the NBA.

His coach has a more modest view of Cleveland's place among the league's elite.

"Well, I think the team that we have, I think our team is very confident," Tyronn Lue said Friday when asked about Kyrie Irving's recent comments before the Cavs' 110-108 win over the Atlanta Hawks. "When [Irving] says 'the team to beat,' I would say 'the team to beat in the East.' I wouldn't say overall because Golden State won the championship last year.

"They're the team to beat, and they have the best record in the NBA right now. I just think we're confident that we can get things done."

Cleveland entered Friday night's game with a 2½-game lead over the Toronto Raptors for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. At 53-22, the Cavs were 15 games behind the Warriors' 68-7 mark.

After falling to Golden State 4-2 in the NBA Finals in June, Cleveland lost both of its regular-season meetings with the Warriors this season.

The Cavaliers fell by six points on Christmas Day at Oracle Arena and lost by 34 in January at Quicken Loans Arena.