Like Yogi Berra once famously said “It’s deja vu all over again.” It’s most appropriate when discussing the Atlanta Hawks.
The Cleveland Cavaliers eliminated the Hawks from the NBA playoffs the second consecutive season behind a barrage of Cavaliers’ 3-pointers.
The Cavaliers also took the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series, 4-0, for the second year in a row. This time the Cavs squeaked by a 100-99 victory Sunday afternoon at Philips Arena in Atlanta. LeBron James & Co. made 16 3-pointers in the clincher and 77 in the four games.
The Cavaliers are now 7-0 when leading a series 3-0 – and three of those victories have come against the Hawks (2009, 2015 and 2016). They became the first team to sweep the first two rounds of the playoffs since the Spurs did it in 2012. The Hawks have lost 12 straight playoff and 11 straight overall games to the Cavaliers.
Kevin Love hit eight 3-pointers Sunday on his way to a game-high 27 points. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving each added 21 points for the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers had a player make at least seven 3-pointers in the final three games of the series.
For the series, the Cavaliers were 77 of 152 from outside the arc and 81 of 191 from inside it.
The Hawks were led by Dennis Schroder with 21 points as he played down the stretch in place of Teague. Millsap finished with 19 points, 17 coming in the first half. Thabo Sefolosha, starting in place of Korver, had 16 points.
The Hawks, who led by as many as 12 points, lost their lead in the third quarter. They led by five points, 96-91, with 3:04 left. The Hawks came back and Schroder gave them a 97-96 lead on a layup with 1:31 left. James converted an in-close basket when Millsap was called for goaltending with 1:16 left.