The Cleveland Cavaliers built a commanding 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup against the Atlanta Hawks via a 121-108 Game 3 win on Friday night at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
The Cavs will look to sweep the Hawks in Game 4 on Sunday and keep an unblemished record (7-0) in the playoffs. They swept the Detroit Pistons in the first round.
Cleveland rallied back in the fourth quarter to wrestle the game away from Atlanta. Banking on their three-point shooting and inside game, the Cavs outscored the Hawks in the final 12 minutes of the game, 36-17. They made 21 of their 39 shots from beyond the arc, a follow up from 25 three-pointers in Game 2. The Cavs also won the battle of the boards with a 55-28 advantage against the Hawks.
Channing Frye led the Cavs with 27 points, going 7-of-9 from downtown. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had their usual numbers and scored 24 points apiece, while Kevin Love contributed 21 markers.
Atlanta had a 103-99 lead with over eight minutes left in the game. However, turnovers and lackluster defense tipped the game in Cleveland’s favor. A go-ahead triple by James gave the Cavs the lead and a fastbreak dunk by Frye extended Cleveland’s lead at the 5:56 mark.
The Hawks had no answer for the barrage of points poured by Cleveland and were clearly frustrated with the game. Jeff Teague was called for a flagrant foul in the closing seconds of the game when he shoved a driving James to the seats behind the basket.
Al Horford led the Hawks with 24 points, while Kyle Korver added 18 in the loss. The Hawks will try to stay alive in the series and make some adjustments on Sunday’s game.