CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James scored 25 points, Kyrie Irving added 21 and the Cleveland Cavaliers withstood a strong comeback by Atlanta to maintain their chokehold on the Hawks with a 104-93 victory on Monday night in the opening game of their second-round Eastern Conference series.
James converted a critical three-point play with 2:09 left for the Cavs, who fell behind in the fourth after leading by 18. Cleveland swept Atlanta in last year's Eastern Conference finals and has won eight straight over the Hawks. Cleveland also improved to 9-0 against Atlanta in the postseason.
Dennis Schroder scored a playoff career-high 27 and rallied the Hawks before they crumbled in the closing minutes. Atlanta's offense bogged down in crunch time and the Hawks only scored two field goals in the final 4 minutes.
Paul Millsap added 17 points and 13 rebounds for Atlanta, which got just eight points from Jeff Teague.