James and Cavaliers all business as they sweep Hawks

The Sports Network
5/12/2009 12:34:46 AM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - LeBron James poured in 27 points and the Cavaliers continued their impressive march in the playoffs, beating Atlanta, 84-74, completing a sweep of the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

James also had eight rebounds and eight assists, while Delonte West played a big role by scoring nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the top- seeded Cavaliers, who are in the conference finals for the second time in three seasons. They beat Detroit in six games in 2007 before being swept by San Antonio in the NBA Finals.

Cleveland will face the winner of the Celtics-Magic series. That best-of-seven set is even with Game 5 scheduled for Tuesday in Boston.

"We're going to take advantage of the rest time we have," said James. "It's wear and tear because it's the postseason. We're looking forward to our next challenge."

Mo Williams finished with 12 points, all on shots from beyond the arc, including a dagger in the final minute for the Cavs, who expanded their franchise-record for consecutive wins in the postseason. They've won all eight games by double-digits, extending an NBA record.

"Why should we celebrate? We're a team that's fighting for a championship," said James. "We're happy that we're playing great basketball, but anything short of getting to the finals or trying to compete to win it...we don't want to put ourselves in a position like that. We're not taking for granted what we're doing right now."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavs, while Anderson Varejao came up with 11 boards, including a big seven on the offensive end.

"We ought to feel good about this win because we got it done in an ugly manner," said Cavaliers coach Mike Brown. "I'm sure Atlanta feels they didn't play their best. I know offensively we didn't play our best, but the way we defended tonight allowed us to make some mistakes."

Cleveland won despite turning the ball over 18 times, leading to 22 Atlanta points. The Cavs also shot 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from the foul line.

Josh Smith scored 26 and had eight rebounds for the Hawks, who were in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1999. The last time they were in round two, in 1999, they were swept by the Knicks.

Joe Johnson scored 18 and dished out seven assists for Atlanta, which struggled by going 4-of-17 from the field in the final quarter.

"We can't let this one particular series drain our whole season," said Smith. "We broke a lot of records as a team and did some good things this season. I don't want to let this series leave a sour taste in my mouth."

The Game 4 win by the Cavs came again thanks to great defense. They limited the Hawks to 31.5 percent shooting and dominated by a 46-33 count on the glass. Also, the Hawks went 2-of-13 from three-point range, while the visitors lit it up from long distance, going 10-of-18 from beyond the arc.

It was a difficult series for the Hawks, considering Johnson, and forwards Al Horford and Marvin Williams were hobbled by injuries.

"I just wish we had a healthier team," said Hawks coach Mike Woodson. "It's hard to judge our team in this series not being healthy."

Atlanta trailed the entire second half, but was within 64-62 following a three-point play from Johnson less than two minutes into the fourth.

The Cavs came back with the ensuing six points, highlighted by a James long- distance shot.

Smith's jumper had Atlanta within 73-68 with nearly three minutes left, but Mo Williams drained a three-ball. Later, Johnson's two foul shots had the margin at 79-74 with 1:56 remaining, but persistent board work paid off for Cleveland.

James missed a pair of layups, but Varejao got two offensive rebounds, allowing Cleveland to keep the ball for over a minute, and Mo Williams sank the big three with 52.1 seconds left to finish off the Hawks.

West's two free throws provided the double-digit margin at the end.

A layup from Ilgauskas gave the Cavs a 15-12 lead with 4 1/2 minutes left in the first, but Atlanta responded by scoring the final 10 points of the period. Zaza Pachulia capped the burst with a pair of free throws.

Wally Szczerbiak's driving jam gave the Cavs a 26-24 edge with 7 1/2 minutes left in the half. It remained tight throughout the remainder of the quarter, but Cleveland went to the break up 40-38.

An Ilgauskas basket expanded the lead to 50-40 midway through the third, but the game tightened again as the Hawks scored 10 of the ensuing 12 points.

James canned a three-pointer with 5.6 seconds remaining in the third before Flip Murray came back with a running bank shot at the buzzer, as the Cavs went to the fourth up, 62-57.

The Hawks, though failed at nearly every turn to get back in the game. On one possession in the fourth, Mike Bibby, Murray and Johnson missed three- pointers, leaving the Cavs ahead, 73-66.

"I'm definitely not happy to be sitting at home now watching the rest of the teams play," said Johnson. "I don't think we really feel deflated, but over the summer it's going to linger in the back of your mind, especially mine, knowing we could have played a little harder, extending this series and not get swept."

Game Notes: The Cavs are 3-0 all-time in close out games when leading a series 3-0 and 6-2 (.714) in playoff closeout games on the road under Brown...Cleveland is the seventh team in the last 25 years to sweep the first two rounds of the playoffs...Bibby had three points on 1-of-6 shooting...Murray scored 14.

LeBron James (Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)


(Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story

Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.

1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets

2014 NBA Draft Tracker

Social Media
twitter icon

Follow the Raptors and Raptor play-by-play man Matt Devlin on Twitter! Check out the latest Tweets!


TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - August 31st 2014

After drubbing Finland; is Team USA too confident? Will & Duane examine this, the Raptors at FIBA World Cup, Durant's Nike deal, WNBA Playoffs & more

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - August 24th 2014

Love for Wiggins is official! Is the future bright for Minny? DeMar DeRozan makes USMNT, Tim Leiweke steps down from Raptors & what's next for Kobe?

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - Aug 10th 2014

Love-Wiggins done deal? KD: The Real Reasons, what's next for USA Basketball, Becky Hammon breaks barriers & Naismith 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees

More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television