It didn’t come as easily as their victories in Atlanta, but the Cavs found a way to top the Hawks once again in Game 3, 114-111.

Atlanta surprisingly stayed in the game despite not having Kyle Korver (ankle), and Al Horford getting tossed for this:

LeBron was dominating the Hawks around the rim in Game 3
LeBron was dominating the Hawks around the rim in Game 3

But the Hawks were in it because of LeBron James’ 0-for-10 start to the game. Minus Kyrie Irving once again (which is the right call), the lack of a second scoring option was obvious early on.

Then, LeBron was LeBron, connecting on 14 of his final 27 shots, posting a 37/18/13 line with three steals. If Atlanta was at full strength, it still wouldn’t have an answer for LBJ … but without Korver, Horford and DeMarre Carroll banged up, they just couldn’t capitalize on what was somehow a close game.

As his coach said after the game, LeBron wouldn’t let his team lose. He was a beast around the rim (as you may imagine when you saw he ripped down 18 boards):

If he was in you’re DK lineup, LeBron gave you an 87 points performance. Not too shabby.

The Hawks are showing us exactly why, despite their 60 wins, they’ve never been the favorites in the east. I said that the Rockets were done when they were down 3-1 vs. the Clippers and ate my words there. But I think I can pretty confidently predict the Hawks are finished …

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