NBA Playoffs: Cleveland Cavaliers Win Game 3, Look To Sweep Atlanta Hawks in Game 4

The Atlanta Hawks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night in the second quarter. In fact, it was a strong enough second quarter to regain the lead from LeBron James and the Cavs, giving the Hawks an 8-point advantage at Halftime. But, the 2016 NBA Playoffs series between the Cavaliers and Hawks has been that way throughout. In all three games so far, Cleveland has scored 30 or more points in the first quarter, and Atlanta responds by putting up a fight. But, King James and his merry band of Cavaliers are ultimately too much for the Atlanta Hawks.

So far, the Cleveland Cavaliers are 7-0 in the 2016 NBA Playoffs; the only team to hit that mark this year. Over the entire histories of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks franchises, Atlanta is 0-10 in NBA Playoff games. One more loss, and the Hawks join the Detroit Pistons as another team from the Eastern Conference to be swept by the Cavs in this year’s NBA post-season.

After winning the first three games of the series by an average of more than 16 points, the Cleveland Cavaliers look to end Round 2 with a 4-0 sweep against the Atlanta Hawks before waiting patiently to find out whether they play the Toronto Raptors or Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Cavs vs. Hawks: Game 3

No team in NBA Playoffs history has ever come back to win a series after being down 3-0. Already down 2-0, the Hawks were hoping the first game of the series to be played in Atlanta would help them turn things around. Unfortunately, after the Hawks kept it close (if not keeping the lead) for more than three quarters, the LeBron-and-Kyrie-lead Cavs turned things up and absolutely destroyed Atlanta in the final twelve minutes 36-17.

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Whatever the Hawks had planned for Game 3, they weren’t ready for what the Cleveland Cavaliers were bringing: an unexpected performance off the bench by Channing Frye. One of the newest members of the Cavaliers’ organization, Frye was good for a game-high 27 points and 7 rebounds on 28 minutes of play. He was also the 3-point shooting star of the game, going 7-for-9 from downtown.


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Cavs vs. Hawks: Game 4

The Hawks will get at least one more shot at the Cavs on Sunday. Unless the Hawks can become the first team to ever come back from 3 games down in a best-of-seven series, they will simply be looking to avoid the humiliation of another NBA Playoffs sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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If Cleveland manages to pull off another Playoffs sweep, they’ll likely get almost a week off waiting for Round 2 to end. It will give LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and all of the Cavaliers a chance to really watch the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors in NBA Playoff mode before they compete in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Where To Watch

Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals featuring Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers will be Sunday, May 8, at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. As of Saturday afternoon, plenty of tickets were available for purchase directly through the venue to see the Cavs vs. Hawks live in Georgia for Game 4. The Cavs-Hawks game will air on ABC with the game scheduled to begin at 3:30 EST.

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If the Hawks win on Sunday, Game 5 will be Tuesday in Cleveland. A potential Game 5 would air on TNT. Should the Hawks win Game 5, everyone returns to Atlanta for Game 6 on Thursday, May 12. Game 6 would air on ESPN. If the Hawks can push the Cavs to Game 7, it won’t happen until Saturday, May 15, from the Q in Cleveland.

[Photo credit Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]