Final score: Cleveland Cavaliers 105, Atlanta Hawks 85
LeBron James finished a drive around reserve Solomon Jones with a two-handed reverse dunk Thursday night.
Analysis: The Hawks were completely destroyed in this one. They were were already without Al Horford and Marvin Williams, whom are both injured, but they just tanked it tonight. The Cavaliers simply imposed their will on the Hawks from start to finish.
The go-getter: LeBron James (Cleveland) had a game-high 27 points, five assists, four steals, three rebounds and a block. Like in the Detroit series, James is simply a man among boys against the Hawks.
The brick-layer: Josh Smith (Atlanta) shot 2-of-13 from the field for eight points. He’s not polished offensively, but his athleticism can create match-up problems for the Cavaliers if he can stay on the floor. Tonight, Smith got in early foul trouble and was a non factor.
The stunning stats: The Cavaliers won despite shooting 6-of-19 from 3-point range and committing 17 turnovers. They made up for that by shooting 53.5 percent from the field overall and blocking 11 shots.
The play: On final play in the first half, James causally dribbled to the left across half court and hit a 36-foot shot at the buzzer using his regular form to give Cleveland a 59-35 halftime lead.
What’s next: Game 3 Saturday at Atlanta, 8 p.m.
What to expect: Counting last season, the Hawks are 6-1 at home in the playoffs. They are sure to play better in Atlanta, but here’s the problem. Cleveland has won with such ease so far that if it gets ahead of Atlanta big early, you wonder if the Hawks will respond. If Atlanta is going to win a game in this series, Game 3 is the one because if they lose Saturday, get the brooms out the closet for Game 4. If Atlanta All-Star Joe Johnson can’t play in Game 3 after injuring his ankle in Game 2, declare this series a sweep for the Cavaliers right now.