Kevin Love Stars As Cavs Sweep Hawks, Reach Conference Finals
Kevin Love had 27 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 100-99 Sunday to complete a 4-0 second round sweep, advancing to the Eastern Conference finals for the second consecutive season.Advertisement
Love shot an impressive 8/15 from the three-point arc as the Cavs continued to steamroll opponents after completing a 4-0 sweep of the Detroit Pistons in the first round. While LeBron James (21 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals and 1 block) narrowly missed out on a triple-double, Kyrie Irving added 21 points and 8 assists as the Cavs’s Big Three outshone the Hawks yet again. |Final Box Score|
“This is more than I dreamed of. It’s what I genuinely enjoy about basketball, playing with great guys,” an elated Kyrie Irving said after the victory. Remember, Irving missed most of last year’s playoffs including the Finals against Warriors with a series of injuries.
Kevin Love impresses LeBron
Though the Cavs dominated the series, Sunday’s game went down to the wire until LeBron knocked down a clutch shot with 39.2 seconds left to end Atlanta’s hopes of a comeback win. “We’re in a great rhythm right now. We know exactly where we want to be on the floor,” said LeBron James, who is determined to advance to his sixth consecutive NBA finals.
After Hawks got swept for the second consecutive season by the Cavs, coach Mike Budenholzer admitted that his team was outclassed by a superior outfit. “They create a lot of mismatches. We tried to take away significant parts of their team and their offense, and our players executed everything we asked of them, I would say, at a very high level.
“At some point, Kevin Love may be an option that they have to get to, and he has to make enough shots for four quarters or four games, whatever it may be. It’s really on me at the end of the day. Our players did everything I asked them to do,” added Budenholzer, who is expected to blow up the Hawks squad and come back with a new-look team next season.
Kevin Love and the Cavaliers will now face either Toronto Raptors or Miami Heat in the Conference Finals.