Behind big efforts from LeBron James and J.R. Smith, the Cleveland Cavaliers went on the road to steal Game 1 over the No. 1 seed Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals with a
James finished with 31 points on 12-26 shooting and Smith added 28 points, including eight threes, which made up for Kyrie Irving’s quiet game and offset Jeff Teague’s 27 points for the Hawks. Smith’s eight three pointers made is a franchise playoff record.
The game was tied at 51 at half, but Atlanta’s offense sputtered just a little more than Cleveland’s in the second half. The Hawks managed just 16 points in the third quarter, which allowed the Heat to run out to a seven point lead.
The air was taken out of the building with 4:59 left in the fourth quarter when Hawks’ guard DeMarre Carroll went down with a knee injury. He was helped off the court without putting any weight on his leg.
Besides Teague’s 27 points, the Hawks didn’t get much from anyone offensively. Al Horford had a nice game with 16 points on 8-12 shooting, but Paul Millsap was just 3-11 for 13 points. Kent Bazemore (10 points) was the only other Hawks player to score in double figures.
Irving played in 27 minutes for Cleveland, but finished with just 10 points.