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As he learns how to lead, Cavaliers' LeBron James sets sights on Cleveland title drought

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 27, 2015

CLEVELAND: Teammates J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson flanked him in his post-game interview, but for a few minutes LeBron James seemed virtually alone.

Alone with his thoughts, his memories, his emotions. He talked softly as he began and his voice might have cracked for a second before he reigned himself back in.

The Cavaliers had just accomplished what he admitted he didn't think was possible at the start of the season. They are going to the NBA Finals.

He'd enjoyed a four-game sweep of the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals for perhaps an hour Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena when the reality of what came with that had to be broached. The drought. Cleveland's 51 years without a championship since Jim Brown led the Cleveland Browns to the 1964 NFL title.

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NBA playoffs: Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving bounces back from injury to make impact

By George Thomas Published: May 27, 2015

CLEVELAND: Since LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers many have referenced his letter regarding the matter and the key words “it’s not easy.”

If one member of James’ team learned that in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, which the Cavs won by sweeping the Atlanta Hawks out, point guard Kyrie Irving did.

After going through a few games of uncertainty prior to starts, missing two consecutive games in the process, Irving returned to the Cavaliers lineup and announced his presence with authority scoring five of his team’s first seven points.

Limited to about 22 minutes, the game was out of hand by halftime for the Hawks, he scored 16 points and added five assists in the 118-88 plucking of the Hawks.

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LeBron James, Cavaliers back in NBA Finals after 118-88 win completes sweep of Hawks

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 26, 2015

 

CLEVELAND: LeBron James pulled the conference championship t-shirt over his sweaty, weary frame and turned to J.R. Smith with a simple message: "Four more."

This is why James returned to Cleveland. The Cavaliers are back in the NBA Finals.

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NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers lead Hawks 85-60 after three quarters in Game 4

By Michael Beaven Published: May 26, 2015

CLEVELAND: Tristan Thompson made his presence felt at the rim on both ends of the third quarter, throwing down slam dunks offensively and blocking shots defensively.

His efforts were key as the Cavaliers led the Hawks 85-60 following three quarters in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Quicken Loans Arena.

Cleveland extended its lead to 66-44 at one point following a LeBron James 3-pointer and a Timofey Mozgov free throw. Atlanta cut the deficit to 15 points a couple of times, but Cleveland routinely had an answer.

Al Horford was held scoreless in the first half and scored his first two points following a bucket with 4:35 to go in the third quarter.

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NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers lead Hawks 59-42 at halftime of Game 4

By Michael Beaven Published: May 26, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Cavaliers continued to play focused and determined in the second quarter, and as a result the lead over the Hawks extended to 59-42 after 24 minutes.

LeBron James scored eight points within the first four minutes of the second quarter and the Cavs advantage reached 20 points on multiple occasions.

The Hawks tried to stay within reach, but could not muster a significant run.

James made 7-of-14 shots from the field in the first half and entered the locker room with 15 points, six assists and four rebounds. 

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NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers lead Hawks 32-20 after one quarter in Game 4

By Michael Beaven Published: May 26, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Cavaliers came out quickly in Game 4 in an attempt to finish its four-game sweep of the Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals.

A focused and determined starting five opened up a 14-6 lead with 8:24 to go in the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. All five starters scored points.

Kyrie Irving and Timofey Mozgov each scored a layup, Irving netted a 3-pointer, LeBron James tossed down a right-handed dunk, Iman Shumpert swished a 3-pointer and Tristan Thompson made a layup. James assisted on three baskets during the spurt.

Matthew Dellavedova entered the game moments later as the first reserve and buried a 3-pointer to give the Cavs a 17-10 edge at 6:44.

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