Kevin Love's eight 3-pointers helped the Cleveland Cavaliers finish a sweep of the Atlanta Hawks and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs. LeBron James had a clutch fourth quarter for the Cavs, pulling off some big plays in the final minutes of Game 4 in Atlanta.
With the Cavs-Hawks series officially in the rear-view, the defending NBA Eastern Conference Champions will have at least a week before they have to defend that title against the winners of the Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors series.Despite repeated questioning on the court immediately after the game, LeBron James refused to say that he would rather see his Cleveland Cavs play Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat rather than the No. 2 seed Raptors in the next round of the NBA Playoffs.
Cavs sweep the HawksWithout question, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been the most dominant team in the 2016 NBA Playoffs. They are now 8-0, having swept both the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks. Kevin Love showed why Cleveland brought him on board, hitting a total of eight from downtown. The Cavs set another NBA Playoffs record by registering 77 three-pointers in the four-game series against the Hawks. They broke the record previously set by themselves against the Pistons a little over one week ago. All three times that LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have faced the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Playoffs, the outcome has been the same: the Cavs sweep the Hawks. King James and the Cavaliers are now 12-0 lifetime against the Hawks in the NBA post-season.
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Heat vs. Raptors: Who does LeBron James prefer?Recently, LeBron James admitted that he has wanted to face Dwyane Wade in the NBA Playoffs even before they became friends in Miami. As reported by Scout, however, James remains focused.
"It's not been heavy on my mind," LeBron said of Dwyane, "but it's crossed my mind throughout my whole career."Immediately after the game on Sunday, however, LeBron wouldn't make any such comments. ESPN's Lisa Salters asked him bluntly who he'd like to face in the Eastern Conference Finals.
"I'm just blessed to be able to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. It doesn't matter for us."Salters wouldn't accept the deflection. After LeBron talked about resting up for the next series, she rephrased the question, hoping to get the sound-byte she was looking for.
"What would it mean for you to face your old team? Dwyane and the boys?" the ESPN correspondent asked again.
"I don't think they're thinking about me and I'm not thinking about them right now... I'm just so proud of my guys, the way we were able to close out this series tonight."
Where To WatchGame 4 of the NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals featuring Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors will be Monday, May 9, at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Florida. As of Sunday evening, tickets were available for purchase directly through the venue to see the Heat vs. Raptors live in Miami for Game 4. The Raptors-Heat game will air on TNT with the game scheduled to begin at 8:00 EST. The Raptors currently lead the series 2-1. The winners of the Heat-Raptors series will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. Depending on the length of the series between Miami and Toronto, the Cavs' next game will be either Sunday, May 15 or Tuesday, May 17. Regardless of their opponents, the first two games of the next series will be at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
[Photo credit Jason Miller/Getty Images]