CLEVELAND, OH, Sporting Alert – LeBron James and Kyrie Irving combined to score 46 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Atlanta Hawks 104-93 in Game 1 of the second-round series at Quicken Loans Arena on Monday night. Box Score
James finished with 25 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and five steals, while Irving added 21 points, eight assists and had two block shots to lead the way for the Cavs, who shot 45-percent from the floor.
Kevin Love added 17 points, 11 rebounds and J.R. Smith made four 3-pointers for 12 points and five rebounds in the victory for the Cavaliers, who led by as many as 18 and trailed just once during the contest.
Dennis Schroder led the way for the Hawks with a career-high 27 points off the bench, with Paul Millsap adding 17 points and 13 rebounds in the defeat on the road.
Kent Bazemore had 16 points and 12 boards, but Al Horford and Kyle Korver combined for 13 points on 4-for-14 attempts.
In fact, Korver took just one shot in his almost 37-minutes on the court, while Horford was 4-for-13.
Also struggling on the night was Jeff Teague, who was just 2-for-9 from the floor for 8 points.
“Jeff had an off night,” said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. “Some of his looks, some of his attacks we feel good about.”
Tristan Thompson grabbed 14 rebounds for Cleveland which made 37 shot and had 27 assists as a team.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 3, 2016
After trailing by as 18 points in the third quarter, the Hawks rallied to take the lead with 7:37 left to play in the fourth quarter.
However, the Cavaliers, who improved to 9-0 against Atlanta in the postseason and eight straight in playoffs, managed to build another double digit lead and close out the contest.
“I just like how our guys come together when things get tough now,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “That’s the biggest thing for us. We’ve got a great team. When things get tough, we have to come together even more.”
Game 2 in the series is Wednesday night in Cleveland again.
“I thought the way our guys competed for the whole night was what we need,” Budenholzer said.
“Going forward I think we can play better.”
According to the stats gurus, Cleveland’s nine-game postseason winning streak against Hawks is the second-longest active streak in the league, behind the club’s own 12-game record over the Detroit Pistons.