The Cleveland Cavaliers picked up an all-important road win in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals clash with the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
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JR Smith hit a staggering eight 3-pointers to finish the game with 28 points as he made the key difference, while LeBron James had a game-high 31 points as the Cavs secured a 97-89 victory over their rivals.
It is the second straight series that the Hawks have now lost the opening game at home, but they will be hopeful of bouncing back in Game 2 on Friday night.
However, they will potentially have to do so without DeMarre Carroll after he went down with a knee injury and had to be helped to the locker room ahead of an MRI scan on Thursday.
Aside from the fact that Carroll was assigned as James’ main defender, he has also been an offensive spark for the Hawks after averaging more than 17 points per game in the playoffs.
Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 27 points but there was no balanced scoring across the team as has come to be expected of Mike Budenholzer’s team as they are now under pressure to ensure that they don’t fall into a bigger hole ahead of the series switching to Cleveland for Game 3.