(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Cavaliers will try to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals Tuesday night when they meet the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Quicken Loans Arena.
Cleveland has not been to the NBA Finals since 2007 when LeBron James led a rag-tag group to the championship round. That Cavaliers team was swept by the San Antonio Spurs.
James, who has been in the last four NBA Finals with the Miami Heat, led the Cavaliers to a 3-0 series lead on Sunday with a triple-double of 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists in their 114-111 overtime victory.
"I've never seen a stat line like that in a playoff game," Cavaliers coach David Blatt said.
James, who missed his first 10 shots from the field, ended 14-of-37 from the field. His shot to give Cleveland a 112-111 advantage with 36.4 seconds left was his only 3 of the game.
Jeff Teague, who posted 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds for Atlanta, drove down the lane and had a step on James at the other end, but James altered the shot and Teague's layup was well off the mark.
"That's a layup I should've made," Teague said. "He (James) just made a good defensive play."
James banked in a runner with 12.8 ticks on the clock and Shelvin Mack missed a pair of 3s in the final five seconds.
The four-time NBA MVP James favored his right leg for much of the extra session and dropped face-down on the court in exhaustion when the horn sounded. Blatt said that James began cramping up in overtime, but stayed in the game because he (James) knew Cleveland couldn't win without him.
"He just would not let us lose," Blatt said.
James didn't find the scoring column until the 8:05 mark of the second quarter and recorded his first field goal just over a minute later.
"Can you imagine if he started quickly?" Blatt joked.
Already without sharpshooter Kyle Korver due to an ankle injury he suffered in Game 2, the Hawks lost All-Star big man Al Horford during the final minute of the opening half after throwing an elbow on the side of Matthew Dellavedova's face. The incident occurred after Horford and Dellavedova were fighting for a loose ball rebound.
Horford was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul following a lengthy review and was tossed from the game. He had scored 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting to that point.
"It hurt us when he came out because he was playing so well," Teague said. "He was carrying us."
The scrappy Dellavedova, who was handed a technical foul on the play, injured Korver Friday night when he dove into his legs going for a loose ball.
Horford didn't call Dellavedova a dirty player postgame, but stated that "he's got to learn."
"He's a player that plays hard, there's got to be a line at one point," he said. "At the end of the day it's a big brotherhood."
Dellavedova was filling in for the injured Kyrie Irving, who missed his second straight game due to a lingering knee issue that he aggravated in Game 1. The Cavs, of course, are also without Kevin Love after he separated his shoulder in the first round.
J.R. Smith supplied 17 points and 10 boards, Dellavedova scored 17 and Tristan Thompson added 10 points and seven rebounds for second-seeded Cleveland, which held a 56-42 rebounding advantage and a 19-6 margin on the offensive glass.
Paul Millsap provided 22 points and nine rebounds for top-seeded Atlanta.
If necessary, Game 5 will be Thursday night in Atlanta.