LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers won their fifth straight NBA Playoff game on Monday when they defeated the Atlanta Hawks 104-93. Both James and Kyrie Irving had strong games for the Cavs, and they’ll look to do the same thing against the Hawks again in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Atlanta was coming off of a 4-2 series against the Boston Celtics. Having swept the Detroit Pistons in the opening round, Cleveland had earned a longer rest before Monday’s game than the Hawks.
Both teams will have 48 hours to recover before Game 2 of the Cavs-Hawks series on Wednesday.
Cavs-Hawks: Game 1
In the opening game of the series, the Cavs dominated in both the 1st and 4th quarters, outscoring the Hawks 60-42 in the two quarters combined. Despite trailing for most of the game, Atlanta made a run in the 4th quarter and had a one-point lead. But the Cavs dominated the end of the 4th quarter and ended up winning by 11 points.
King James had a game-high nine assists, five steals, and a team-high 25 points. As he prepares to film Space Jam 2, the comparisons to Michael Jordan will increase in intensity. A strong 2016 NBA Playoff run could serve his side of the argument well.
Kyrie Irving continued to prove that he’s one of the best guards in this year’s Playoffs, recording 21 points and 8 assists. Kevin Love had a double-double of his own, with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Tristan Thompson led the Cavs with 14 rebounds.
For the Atlanta Hawks, Dennis Schroder came off the bench to score a game-high 27 points and a team-high six assists. Paul Milsap and Kent Bazemore lead Atltanta’s starters with 17 and 16 points respectively. Milsap also had a team-high 13 rebounds, while Bazemore had a dozen.
This is the ninth consecutive NBA Playoff game between the Cavaliers and Hawks to be won by Cleveland. The Hawks have never won a playoff game against the Cavaliers. In last year’s Playoffs, the Cavs swept the Hawks. They did it in Round 2 in 2009 as well.
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Other NBA Playoffs series
Later Monday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs had Game 2 of their Western Conference series. OKC managed a 98-97 victory over the Spurs, tying the series up at 1-1. Currently ahead of all the other series, the teams don’t play again until Friday in Oklahoma City.
On Sunday, the Golden State Warriors (sans Stephen Curry) were able to keep Portland at bay with a 118-106 victory in California. Up 1-0, the Warriors welcome the Trailblazers back to the Oracle Areana in Oakland for Game 2 on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday night, the other half of the Eastern Conference Semifinals gets under way, as Dwyade Wade and the Miami Heat travel to Toronto to begin their series with the Raptors. Both the Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers series from Round 1 went the full seven games, allowing the Raptors and the Heat little rest between the end of Round 1 and the beginning of Round 2.
Where To Watch
Game 2 of the NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals featuring Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers will be Wednesday, May 4, at Quicken Loans Arena in the Sixth City. Coverage is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. EST, as part of NBA On TNT programming.
[Photo credit Jason Miller]