LeBron James, Cavaliers take 2-0 series lead over Hawks

NBA Basketball

No Kevin Love, no Kyrie Irving, no problem for the Cavaliers.

Despite missing their starting point guard, the Cavaliers trounced the Hawks 94-82 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals at Atlanta. The loss puts the Hawks in front of a large mountain to climb, as only four teams in NBA playoff history have come back to win a series after losing the first two games at home.

MORE: The anatomy of James Harden's Game 2 gaffe | LeBron's high tolerance for pain

LeBron James put the team on his back Friday in one of his most efficient games of the postseason. He finished one rebound shy of a triple-double with 30 points (on 22 shots), 11 assists and nine rebounds. It was his 74th career 30-point playoff game, tying with Jerry West for fourth-most all time. James showed off his versatility by scoring in a multitude of different ways.

"It was a collective team effort," James said on TNT. "We’re the No. 1 defensive team in the postseason, and that’s how we have to win — stellar defense.

"My guys came to play for me (Friday). Communication is huge. For the team, and for me as a leader, and we communicated well."

Tristan Thompson was a monster on the boards once again for the Cavs. He had 16 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Thompson also scored seven points and blocked two shots.

Matthew Della

vedova stepped in for the injured Irving and played well, scoring 11 points and maintaining a solid 4:3 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Dennis Schröder came off the bench to lead the Hawks with 13 points in just 12 minutes. Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Kyle Korver scored 12 points apiece. Korver left the game in the third quarter when Dellavedova came down awkwardly on his right leg.

The Hawks are in serious danger of being swept, and if DeMarre Carroll and Korver remain banged up, it will be tough to beat whomever the Cavs put on the court.


Dellavedova and James showcased some excellent ball movement leading to a violent Timofey Mozgov slam:

What's Next:

Game 3: Sunday at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m. ET (TNT).

Saturday's game: Western Conference finals Game 3, Warriors at Rockets, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)