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Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers (-7, 198)
Cavaliers lead 1-0
The Cleveland Cavaliers keep knocking off Atlanta in the postseason and look to do it for the 10th consecutive time when they host the Hawks in Wednesday’s Game 2. Cleveland continued its playoff mastery of Atlanta with a 104-93 series-opening victory on Monday as it held the Hawks to 37.9 percent shooting from the field.
The Cavaliers let an 18-point third-quarter lead get away in Game 1 but outclassed Atlanta down the stretch to deal the Hawks another loss. “They’re a great team,” Atlanta shooting guard Kyle Korver told reporters. “They beat a lot of people. It’s not just us. Are we getting closer to getting over the hump? I don’t know. … We definitely got to get that win first.” Cleveland drained 15 3-point baskets and received a stellar all-around effort from forward LeBron James, who had 25 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and five steals. “We played an OK game,” James told reporters. “I don’t think we played to our standards. The first game is always kind of a feel-out.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
LINE HISTORY: The Cavaliers opened at 7.5-point favorites at home for Game 2. By Tuesday morning the public, somewhat surprisingly, bet the Hawks enough to force the books to drop the line to -7. The total opened at 199 and came down a half point to 198.5. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT THE HAWKS (52-37, 45-43-1 ATS, 39-50 O/U): Backup point guard Dennis Schroder was superb with a playoff career-best 27 points in Game 1, and he made five of Atlanta’s 11 3-pointers. His play helped the Hawks make the second-half charge on a night in which starting guards Jeff Teague (eight points on 2-of-9 shooting) and Kyle Korver (three points, 0-of-1 shooting) were highly unproductive. “I think we can play better,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters. “Obviously, Dennis had a great game for us but overall, the whole group, we can play better. Defensively, we had some possessions where we gave ourselves a chance and we just couldn’t come up with a couple of rebounds late when it was tied (at 86).”
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (62-25, 40-44-3 ATS, 43-44 O/U): Power forward Kevin Love had 17 points and 11 rebounds while struggling through a 4-of-17 shooting performance in the opener. He also appeared to tweak his right shoulder late in the contest – it was his left shoulder that he dislocated in last season’s playoffs – but insisted the injury was minor. “I’m fine. I was telling (general manager David Griffin) after the game I can’t catch a break with that shoulder, but I’m fine,” Love told reporters. “It was just one of those plays. You’ve always got to watch it when you pump-fake at that 3-point line on a jump shot. You can take a hit, but I feel good.”
* Hawks are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
* Cavaliers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. NBA Southeast.
* Under is 7-0 in Hawks last 7 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
* Over is 7-2 in Cavaliers last 9 Wednesday games.
* Hawks are 0-5 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
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