Only a very select few players have made the NBA Finals five straight years but that's on tap for Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James on Tuesday night if his Cavs can beat Atlanta to sweep the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs are 8-point favorites on BetOnline with a total of 193.5. The site also has a line on a potential Game 1 of the NBA Finals at Golden State, with the Warriors listed at -7.
Will Cavs All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving play in Game 4? He has missed the past two with a knee injury and I'd guess the Cavs would prefer he sit out again and get as much rest as possible ahead of the NBA Finals, which will start June 4. Irving participated in practice on Monday. Coach David Blatt said that Irving is still a game-time decision for Game 4. Blatt said that the team's medical staff wants to see Irving have several good days of work in a row.
“We need Kyrie on the court, and we’re not really thinking about resting him as much as we’re thinking about him being healthy to play basketball,” Blatt said. “We need him on the court, whether we’re up 1-0 or 2-1 or 3-0. That doesn’t really mean anything because this is the conference finals. There’s not a lot of time, and there’s not a lot of room for error.
“At the same time, if we’re risking his long-term health, we’re not going to do that.”
The Hawks are without All-Star guard Kyle Korver for the rest of the playoffs with a knee injury suffered in Game 2. Also, there will not be any additional discipline subjected to Hawks forward Al Horford following his ejection from Sunday's Game 3 loss to the Cavaliers.
Horford was tossed afterd delivering an elbow above the shoulders of Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova after the two were tangled up with one another. This appeared to be in retaliation after Dellavedova dove toward Horford's knees. Horford received a Flagrant 2 and Dellavedova received a technical foul.
In Game 3 on Sunday, the Cavaliers edged the Hawks 114-111 in overtime to take a 3-0 lead in the series. It was the 9th overtime game in Cavs postseason history (6-3) and the first since May 26, 2009 at Orlando. The Cavaliers scored 114 points in Game 3, a 2015 playoff high, as they improved to a perfect 27-0 at home when reaching the century mark in scoring (regular season and postseason included).
Cavs Almost Unbeatable At Home
Dating back to Jan. 19 of the 2014-15 regular season, the Cavs have won 25 of their last 27 games at The Q, which includes 17 of them by a margin of victory of at least 10 points. During their 25-2 stretch at home, Cleveland has outscored its opponents by an average of 11.4 points (105.5-94.1), while holding foes to just .415 shooting from the field.
LeBron James is averaging a triple-double: 32.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 10.0 assists in 41.3 minutes per game in this series. In Game 3, he collected his 12th career playoff triple (2nd -most all-time) after recording game highs of 37 points, 18 rebounds (career-high eight offensive) and 13 assists, to go along with three steals in 47 minutes. It was James’ 75th 30-point game of his playoff career which moved him past Jerry West (74) and put him into a tie with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (75) for the third-most 30-point games in NBA playoff history. James also became the 1st player in NBA postseason history to put together a stat line of at least 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists.
Cleveland has gone on to sweep an opponent each time when leading 3-0 in a series (2007 First Round vs. WAS, 2009 First Round vs. DET, 2009 Semifinals vs. ATL, 2015 First Round vs. BOS).
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