Cavaliers soar higher to enter Eastern finals
THE Cleveland Cavaliers punched their ticket to the NBA Eastern Conference finals on Sunday, holding off a desperate Hawks team 100-99 in Atlanta to complete a sweep of their second-round play-off series.
"They gave us everything they had these last two games," Cavaliers superstar LeBron James said of the Hawks.
"I'm happy our guys showed up and we were able to represent the way we know how to play Cavs basketball."
Kevin Love scored 27 points and tied his career-high with eight three-pointers to help Cleveland wrap up the 4-0 series victory.
The Cavs, who fell to the Golden State Warriors in last year's NBA Finals, will play either Toronto or Miami for a chance to return to the championship series.
Kyrie Irving scored 21 points and handed out eight assists.
James added 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists - and came up big defensively on Atlanta's final possession.
The Cavaliers were up 100-99 with 10 seconds to play when James tied up Atlanta's German point guard Dennis Schroder on a drive inside the paint.
James won the ensuing jump ball as Cleveland held on for the win.
Once again, Cleveland were on fire from three-point range.
They converted 16 attempts on Sunday, taking their tally for the final three games of the series to 62.
"We're in a great rhythm right now," James said. "We know where everyone is on the floor and exactly where we should be."