The Cleveland Cavaliers took a 3-0 series lead over the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 114-111 OT win on Sunday night.
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Having dropped both home games to start the series, the Hawks were under pressure to pick up a crucial win up in Game 3 in order to avoid an elimination game on the road on Tuesday night.
In what was a highly entertaining game, there was also a moment of controversy as Hawks center Al Horford was ejected in the second quarter after elbowing Matthew Dellavedova.
The Cavs point guard appeared to dive into Horford’s leg with a question mark over intent, much like he did on Kyle Korver in Game 2 which ended in the Hawks star suffering a severe sprained ankle which ended his post-season.
Horford retaliated and was surprisingly thrown from the game after scoring 14 points and leading the charge for the visitors for much of the first half.
After a slow start in which he went 0-10 to start the game, James burst into life to end the encounter with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists for his 12th triple-double in the playoffs over the course of his career.
The 30-year-old was hobbled with various ailments at one stage, but as he so often does he was able to battle through them to continue to lead his team to victory.
Jeff Teague responded with 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for Atlanta to avoid falling 3-0 behind which leaves them in a world of trouble as their chances of making the NBA Finals look very slim.