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LeBron James' near triple-double without Irving guides Cavs to win, commanding lead over Hawks

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 23, 2015

 

ATLANTA: The Cavs are down to one superstar and plenty of helping hands. The Hawks might be down to their last rites.

LeBron James had 30 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists and the Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 94-82 Friday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. And they did it without Kyrie Irving.

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NBA playoffs: Cleveland Cavaliers lead Atlanta Hawks 84-66 after third quarter

By George Thomas Published: May 22, 2015

Cavs 84 Hawks 66

The Cavaliers used a 16-4 run to take control of the game and pull away in the third quarter by outscoring the Hawks 30-17 in the frame.  Akron’s LeBron James continued to do what he does – dominate.  He tossed in nine points in the quarter, but he also balanced it by getting his teammates involved by dishing out five assists in the third.  He stood close to a triple-double with 28 points,  seven rebounds and nine assists.  His band of merry role players also put in overtime.  Iman Shumpert delivered the quietest scoring in the game, but by the end of the third had 14 points and Thompson cleaned the glass, grabbing 14 rebounds by the end of the period.   The Hawks suffered their own version of bad luck as they lost sharpshooter Kyle Korver to injury, putting their offense in a precarious situation heading into the fourth quarter.

Leaders

Points: LeBron James (Cavs) 28

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NBA playoffs: Cleveland Cavaliers lead Atlanta Hawks 54-49

By George Thomas Published: May 22, 2015

Cavs 54, Hawks 49

At the 9:49 mark of the third quarter the Cavaliers opened a 10-point lead over the Hawks at 35-25 and gathered some momentum.  It proved short-lived as the Hawks went on an 8-0 run   to cut the lead to 35-33.  The game unfolded as the Cavs likely wanted, low-scoring and ugly.  However, each time the Hawks looked to gather their own sense of momentum, the Cavs were able to turn things around.

The second quarter saw the appearance of players that likely would not have seen a lot of action had the Cavs not been damaged by injuries and by some foul trouble by back-up point guard Matthew Dellavedova, who went to the bench at the 5:37 mark.  As those players rotated in – James Jones in particular – they delivered some production. Jones connected on two treys to score six points and although J.R. Smith didn’t show the fire from Game 1, he provided seven first half points. The Cavs shot well from the perimeter, connecting on 7-of-11 from the three-point arc.  Atlanta hit on 4-of-11 in that category.

Leaders

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NBA playoffs: Cleveland Cavs lead 26-21 after first quarter

By George Thomas Published: May 22, 2015

Cavs 26, Hawks 21

As both teams suffered from injuries, the first quarter of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals felt like another feel-out effort as each teams started tentatively.  The Cavs played without point guard Kyrie Irving and it was clear as the quarter progressed that LeBron James felt the need to take on more of the scoring load with him and, of course, Kevin Love out.  Those 13 points came in various forms and the Hawks, dealing with an injured DeMarre Carroll, seemed to lag on defense. 

The Cavs needed guys to step up in assorted ways and it could be argued that he was only doing what he does, but power forward Tristan Thompson continued to deliver on the glass grabbing eight rebounds in the quarter.

 

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Kyrie Irving will not play in Game 2 vs. Hawks

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 22, 2015

ATLANTA: Kyrie Irving will not play tonight when the Cavaliers face the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Irving visited with Dr. James Andrews on Friday, the team said, and the tendonitis diagnosis was again confirmed. He is listed as questionable for Game 3 on Sunday in Cleveland.

Irving had eight days off between the Cavs’ first two series and six days off prior to facing the Hawks. It’s unclear at this point what another couple of days’ rest will mean.

“We’re evaluating as we go forward and hopeful we can get him back in there,” coach David Blatt said. He added that the Cavs’ 1-0 series lead had no impact on the decision to rest him.

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Hawks' DeMarre Carroll considered game-time decision vs. Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 22, 2015

 

ATLANTA: DeMarre Carroll will be a game-time decision tonight for the Atlanta Hawks, who seem to be preparing as if he won’t play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavs.

Carroll injured his left knee in Game 1 Wednesday and had to be helped off the floor. He attended the Hawks’ morning shootaround wearing a brace, but walked with a slight limp. Kent Bazemore will likely start and defend LeBron James if Carroll is unable to go.

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Kyrie Irving misses shootaround, questionable for Game 2 against Hawks

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 22, 2015

 

ATLANTA: Kyrie Irving missed the Cavs’ morning shootaround and is listed as questionable for Friday night’s Eastern Conference finals Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks. Irving spent the morning with team doctors and another MRI is likely.

Irving has been fighting tendonitis in the knee for weeks, but the Cavs privately feel as if there isn’t much else they can do for him. No one was expecting an MRI to reveal much, except to once again show Irving there is nothing structurally wrong with the knee. If so, it again becomes a matter of him being able to play through the pain.

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Cavs 97, Hawks 89; Jason Lloyd's 28 thoughts on J.R. Smith, redemption and a historic road win

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 21, 2015

 

ATLANTA: Twenty-eight thoughts for 28 points from J.R. Smith in a 97-89 Game 1 Eastern Conference finals victory against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday…

1. When the Cavs acquired J.R. Smith in January, reaction from team executives across the league ranged from “I would’ve rather given the Knicks a first-round pick for Shumpert just to keep from having to take him” all the way to “if he is a problem next year Dan (Gilbert) will just cut him.” Four months later, it’s difficult to imagine where this team would be without him.

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LeBron scores 31, J.R. Smith sets playoff high with 28 points in Cavs 97-89 Game 1 win over Hawks

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 20, 2015

 

ATLANTA: Right about the time Kevin Love ran off the floor holding his shoulder and Kyrie Irving began dragging his foot up and down the court, the Cavaliers evolved from an offensive juggernaut into a defensive force.

After a slow start Wednesday that defense and J.R. Smith’s red-hot shooting carried the Cavaliers to a 97-89 victory against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Cavs immediately snatched home-court advantage from the Hawks with Game 2 set for Friday.

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NBA playoffs: Cavs lead Hawks 74-67 after three quarters

By George Thomas Published: May 20, 2015

Cavs 74, Hawks 67

The game turned more physical and reverted back to the grungy tone of the first quarter.  The Cavs continued to look disjointed on offense despite managing to grab a brief four-point lead.

But the key came defensively because they disrupted the Hawks offense, especially their guards as Teague only scored four points in the quarter.  Over the course of  quarter the Cavs allowed the Hawks to only connect on 1-of-10 field goals. Conversely, the Cavs J.R. Smith continued to show a hot hand hitting consecutive threes at one point during the quarter and tallying eight points.

But rebounding is where the Cavs continued to dominate the boards 32-26 and 11-5 on the offensive glass. That aspect of their game finally paid dividends on the scoreboard as the Cavs were able to grind out their lead.

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