The Cavaliers topped the Hawks 84-74 at Philips Arena to take take the best-of-seven playoff series 4-0.
Atlanta jumped out to a 22-15 lead in the first quarter behind 10 points from Josh Smith, but Cleveland rallied to take a 40-38 lead at halftime ... Smith finished with 16 for the half to lead the Hawks, while LeBron James' 12 paced the Cavaliers.
Atlanta forced 11 Cleveland turnovers (leading to 16 points) in the first half but shot only 31.6% (12-38) from the field ... The Hawks had 4 turnovers in the half (leading to 4 points).
The Cavs opened the third on an 8-0 run to push the lead to 10 ... The Hawks wouldn't go away and rallied to cut the deficit to 2 points, but could get no closer.
Smith led the Hawks with 26 points and 8 rebounds ... Joe Johnson had 18 points and 7 assists ... Flip Murray added 14 off the bench.
James finished with a game-high 27 points for Cleveland ... He also had 8 boards and 8 assists ... Delonte West scored 21, while Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
For the game, Atlanta shot 31.5% from the field (23-73), 15.4% from 3-point range (2-13) and 86.7% from the line (26-30) ... Cleveland hit 42.9% from the field (30-70), 55.6% from behind the arc (10-18) and 53.8% from the charity stripe (14-26).
Lang Whitaker's Three Things
effort that has been lacking throughout the
series was better tonight, but it still
wasn't enough. At halftime the Hawks had 17
boards and 7 assists, while Cleveland had 24
and 13. Cleveland finished with 48 rebounds
to our 33, and they seemed to be quicker to
every loose ball. Maybe it was the injuries,
maybe it was the fatigue of playing our 93rd
game of the season. But tonight, the Hawks
just didn't have it. Cleveland did.
2. Shooting both saved us (free
throws) and killed us (three pointers). The
Hawks have struggled to make free throws all
season, but tonight they hit an astounding
26 of 30, including 10 of 12 from Josh
Smith. But on the flip side, the three point
shooting that won us so many games all
season went cold tonight, as the Hawks went
just 2 for 13 from behind the three point
line. And in the most important possession
of the season, with the game on the line and
clock running down, the Hawks had three open
three-pointer attempts from Bibby, Joe and
Flip, and they missed all three threes.
3. Postgame in the Hawks locker room,
guys were upset but they seemed to look at
things with a bit of understanding, knowing
that this season might be over, but there's
still work to be done. Zaza expressed his
love for the Hawks fans, Marvin Williams
said he couldn't wait to return. And Joe
admitted that while his sprained ankle was
slowing him, nothing would've kept him out
of the lineup: "If I could walk, I was gonna
play." Joe also allowed that while the Hawks
have a lot of decisions to make this summer,
he thinks the Hawks aren't far away. "Last
year we were an 8 seed, this year we were a
4. Hopefully next year we can move into that
upper echelon. I don't think it's impossible
if we just keep playing together and playing
hard." What will happen to these Hawks in
the offseason? "I don't know," said Johnson.
"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."