Basketball: Cavaliers reach conference final by sweeping Hawks



ATLANTA- LeBron James scored 17 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat Atlanta 84-74 Monday, completing a second consecutive National Basketball Association playoff sweep to reach the Eastern Conference finals.
The Cavaliers, who swept Detroit in the opening round, remained undefeated in the playoffs by completing a four-game sweep of the Hawks in the best-of-seven series.



Basketball: Cavaliers reach conference final by sweeping Hawks
Cleveland will advance to face the winner between Boston and Orlando for the right to play in next month's NBA Finals. The defending champion Celtics and Orlando are level at 2-2 with game five Tuesday at Boston.
Delonte West added 21 points while Lithuanian center Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who had the NBA's best regular season record at 66-16 and own a home-court edge throughout the NBA playoffs.
Josh Smith led Atlanta with 26 points while Joe Johnson added 18 points and Flip Murray contributed 14.
James sank a 3-pointer from left side to put Cleveland ahead 69-62 with 6:31 to play. After a Zydrunas free throw, Atlanta's Mike Bibby and Cleveland's West exchanged 3-pointers and the Cavaliers led 73-66.
A Mo Williams 3-pointer with 2:45 to play put Cleveland ahead 76-68 but the Hawks rallied on free throws, pulling within 79-74 on two Johnson free throws with 1:56 to play.
Williams, who made 4-of-7 3-pointers to finish with 12 points, sank another 3-pointer off a pass from James to boost Cleveland's edge to 82-74 with 52.1 seconds remaining, driving the final dagger into Atlanta's hopes.
James sank a 3-pointer from the right side with 5.6 seconds remaining and had three earlier free throws in a 10-3 Cavaliers run to seize a seven-point edge before Murray sank a jumper at the buzzer to lift the Hawks with 62-57 after three quarters. Cleveland led 40-38 at half-time.
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Tuesday, May 12th 2009
AFP
           


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