On Monday night in Atlanta, the Hawks gave the Cavaliers their stiffest test of the entire postseason ? holding them to 43 percent shooting, with Cleveland shooting just 53 percent from the stripe and committing 18 turnovers. However, thanks to their suffocating defense they completed a four-game sweep of the Atlanta Hawks to advance to the conference finals. LeBron James followed up his Herculean 47-point performance with a game-high 27 on Monday night. LeBron was 9-for-22 from the floor, with eight boards and eight assists. Delonte tied his playoff high with 21 – going 7-for-13 from the floor, including a massive baseline dunk early in the fourth quarter. West donned a pair of James’ signature sneakers (Nike Zoom Soldier III) and showed he was worthy. “You saw I had LeBrons on? It was the shoes,” West joked. Four of Cavs’ starting five wears LeBrons now (Big Z – ZSII; Delonte, Mo, and LBJ – ZSIII).Interesting stats:
- Through the first eight games of the postseason, the Cavaliers are averaging 16.7 points per win.
- After sweeping their first two opponents, the Cavaliers are allowing an average of just 78.7 points per game, the lowest mark by a postseason team in the shot-clock era.
- In an interesting statistical anomaly, the Cavaliers trailed for exactly 2:11 overall in the second half of the Detroit series, and for exactly 2:11 in the second half of the Atlanta series.
- The Cavaliers have now advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth time in team history ? joining the Miracle team of 1976, Lenny Wilkens? 1992 squad and the 2007 team that advanced to the Cavaliers? first ever Finals appearance.
Photos Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE via Getty Images. Photos by Andy Lyons/Getty Images, Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images, Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images.