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Friday, May 08, 2009

Cavaliers 105, Hawks 85

CLEVELAND — From his corner cubicle in Cleveland’s locker room, LeBron James kept his eyes riveted on the flat-screen TV. He wanted to see every replay.

There was his no-look pass to Wally Szczerbiak. There was his reverse dunk in the final seconds of the first quarter. And then there was his majestic, step-back 3-pointer to beat the halftime horn.

Seeing it on tape for the first time, James smiled, stood and repeated his arm-swinging gesture.

It’s all easy. Maybe too easy.

James scored 27 points, ending the first and second quarters with last-second baskets, and Mo Williams added 15 points as the untested Cavaliers overpowered the Atlanta Hawks 105-85 on Thursday night to open a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal.

"I’m having fun,” James said. "I’m having a ball.”

Now a perfect 6-0 in the postseason, the Cavaliers tied a league record by winning their sixth consecutive playoff game by double digits. The only other team to do it was the 2004 Indiana Pacers. Cleveland also matched the 1986 Los Angeles Lakers by winning three straight games by at least 20 points in a postseason.

"I don’t want to say I’m surprised,” James said of Cleveland’s playoff dominance. "We’re just a really good team. We’re really confident and we believe in each other.”

Maurice Evans scored 16 points and Mike Bibby had 11 for the Hawks, who were missing center Al Horford and forward Marvin Williams because of injuries. If that wasn’t bad enough, leading scorer Joe Johnson rolled his right ankle in the third quarter and did not return.

His status for Game 3 on Saturday wasn’t known.

by the associated press

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