James leads Irving-less Cavs past Hawks

Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - A scowling LeBron James high-fived his teammates on the bench after being substituted late in the fourth quarter with a Game 2 win well in hand.

Forget about the Big Three, all the Cleveland Cavaliers needed Friday night was the Big One.

James finished a rebound shy of a triple-double, recording 30 points and 11 assists, as the Kyrie Irving-less Cavaliers routed the Atlanta Hawks 94-82 to open up a commanding 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

James was 10-of-22 from the field and when he wasn't invading the paint and attacking the basket, he was finding teammates for open 3-pointers.

Eight of his 11 assists led to a Cavaliers triple.

"He sees things ahead of time," Cleveland coach David Blatt said. "He's willing to pass the ball and he believes in his teammates."

James scored 11 of his points in a dominating third quarter where Cleveland outscored Atlanta 30-17 and led by as many as 20.

Game 3 is Sunday in Cleveland.

"This is not anywhere near done," Blatt said. "We have to continue to play right."

Irving sat out Game 2 due to a lingering left knee injury. He sat out Friday's morning shootaround in Atlanta to undergo additional evaluation for tendinitis with head team physician Dr. Richard Parker. He aggravated the injury in Cleveland's 97-89 Game 1 win.

Kevin Love, of course, was lost for the playoffs after dislocating his shoulder during Game 4 of the Cavs' first-round series against the Boston Celtics.

Cleveland started the game by knocking down 12 of its first 20 shots from beyond the arc and held a 47-39 advantage on the glass.

"We wanted to drive and kick when possible and we did a good job of that," Blatt said of the 3s made.

Iman Shumpert nailed four 3s and scored 16 points, Tristan Thompson snatched 16 rebounds and Irving's backup, Matthew Dellavedova, posted 11 points, six boards and four assists in the triumph.

Atlanta has played like a different team than the one which went 17-0 during the month of January and finished with an East-best 60-22 record. The usually pass-happy and sharp-shooting Hawks have appeared stagnant during the postseason.

They tallied 15 assists, shot just 41.8 percent (33-of-79) and made 6-of-26 from long distance in this one.

"We've got to be a lot better offensively," Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer said. "It's important for us to screen better ... they're making it difficult."

DeMarre Carroll, who started and played just under 34 minutes despite a left knee strain suffered in Game 1, scored six points. Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 13 points.

"Physically DeMarre was in a pretty good place," Budenholzer said.

James pushed the ball down the floor midway through the third quarter, high stepped along the right baseline and dribbled the ball with his left hand to the top of the key before flipping a behind-the-back pass to a wide open Shumpert for a 3-pointer.

A few possessions later he was in attack mode, getting his driving runner in the paint to drop and cap a 16-2 Cavs surge, staking them to a 75-56 cushion at the 4:28 mark.

Shumpert and Dellavedova each hit a pair of triples during the burst.

James' three-point play less than a minute later gave Cleveland its largest lead at 78-58.

The Cavs took an 84-66 spread into the fourth, where they cruised to the finish line.

Earlier, James scored seven quick points and helped the Cavaliers build a quick 11-5 margin.

"We just came out flat," Carroll said.

The Hawks scored the next seven points, but trailed 26-21 following a quarter of play.

Paul Millsap finished off an 8-0 spurt with a layup to claw Atlanta within 35-33 midway through the second, but Dellavedova split two free throws and a pair of James layups extended the advantage back to 40-33.

Jeff Teague's driving layup in the waning seconds cut the Hawks' gap to 54-49 heading into the locker room.

Game Notes

James' teams are 14-0 when leading 2-0 in a series, while the Hawks are 0-16 in franchise history when trailing 0-2 ... Dellavedova began 1-of-12 in the series prior to his two treys in the third ... The Hawks held a 48-30 points in the paint advantage .. The Cavs finished 12-of-30 from beyond the arc.