- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ATLANTA | LeBron James didn’t come close to matching his Game 3 performance.

But he did enough to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to another playoff sweep - and get in a few jabs at Atlanta fans.

James scored 27 points and had the last word with a heckling fan at courtside as the Cavaliers finished off the Hawks 84-74 in Game 4 on Monday night to earn the Eastern Conference semifinal series in four games.

Delonte West and Mo Williams showed Cleveland isn’t just a one-man team, hitting huge shots down the stretch as the Cavaliers managed to extend their NBA-record streak of double-digit playoff wins to eight in a row.

Cleveland, which also swept Detroit in the opening round, will face either Boston or Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals.



No matter the opponent, the Cavaliers will be a lot more rested. The Celtics-Magic series is tied 2-2 and will last at least through Thursday; the top seed will head back to Ohio to relax for a few days before opening the next round at home.

After scoring 47 points in Game 3, James struggled with his jumper in this one. Still, he came through with the Cavaliers facing their first serious challenge of the playoffs.

With the Cavaliers leading 66-62, James hit a 3-pointer with 6 1/2 minutes to go, lingering at the arc to pose with his right hand extended toward the arena roof.

The Hawks were still hanging around, trailing 76-72, when James drove past Zaza Pachulia and laid it in despite getting hacked. He tacked on the free throw to complete the three-point play with 2:03 remaining.

Finally, after drawing the usual double-team, James dished off to an open Williams, who sank the clinching 3-pointer with 52 seconds left. The Hawks called a timeout, their only way to extend the season, but James hovered near the middle of the court, just staring at the fan in the garish green shirt and orange pants who had been riding him all game.

James finished 9-for-22 from the field but showed his all-around brilliance with eight rebounds and eight assists.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide