Final score: Cleveland Cavaliers 97, Atlanta Hawks 82
Atlanta coach Mike Woodson and his Hawks had no answer for LeBron James in Saturday's Game 3 loss against Cleveland.
Analysis: The Hawks gave a better effort at home, but they had no answer for the league MVP. LeBron James scored 47 points, one short of his NBA playoff high, and carried the Cavaliers to victory. Atlanta actually lead in the second half, but lack of execution, plus not being able to stop James, led to defeat. Cleveland can close out the series in Monday’s Game 4.
The go-getter: Who else but LeBron James (Cleveland). James had a game-high 47 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and only one turnover. The guy was 5-of-10 from 3-point range. Simply unstoppable.
The brick-layer: Josh Smith (Atlanta) shot 8-of-18 from the field for 18 points. Hate to be so tough on the guy, but for someone who is 6-foot-10 and as athletic as even James, he settled for too many jump shots against a Cleveland front line that can’t match him physically. He only attempted four free throws Saturday.
The stunning stats: This is becoming the norm. James shot 12-of-16 from the free throw line. As a team, Atlanta was 7-of-11.
The play: James banked in 3-point shot with 1:25 remaining in the first half from the left side and he’s a right-handed player. Scary.
What’s next: Game 4 Monday at Atlanta, 7 p.m.
What to expect: Get out the brooms. Cavaliers will complete their second consecutive sweep of a playoff series with a win Monday.