Millsap, Hardaway boost Hawks past Celtics

The Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James had 36 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and the Cavs ran past the Boston Celtics 114-91 on Wednesday evening to move back into top place in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). LeBron James and his supporting cast dominated the Celtics in their homecourt.

After a slow first quarter in which the Celtics defense kept Cleveland in check, James and the Cavaliers went to work and shredded Boston's interior defense.

Hardaway Jr., scored 15 of his 22 in the fourth for the Hawks and Kevin Love didn't hold back on explaining what the loss meant for Cleveland.

The topic was appropriate.

Let's not kid ourselves though, these teams can beat each other up as much as they want, the Cavaliers will be representing the East in the Finals.

And to make things a little more interesting, the Celtics now own just a two-game lead over the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. This was proven Wednesday night when the defending NBA champions went into Boston and completely demolished the Celtics-the same Celtics that pundits crowned as this year's team that would keep LeBron James out of his seventh straight NBA Finals.

However, with all that being said, the Cavs have shown a proclivity to play down to their competition in the regular season, and with the playoffs about a week away, there's a good or better chance they were just bored tonight. Thompson got hurt Tuesday against Orlando and missed Wednesday's game in Boston, snapping his streak of consecutive games played at 447.

The Cavs had long since dispensed of any drama.

The criticism, he said, has some merit.

The Celtics are really making life hard for themselves in the final week of the regular season.

"I think our guys enjoy the position we are in".

The Bulls, Miami and IN entered the night with 38-40 records and IN a three-way tie for seventh IN the Eastern Conference playoff race. "We've got to see them again".

Including the 2015 and 2016 playoffs, the Cavs have won 12 of the last 13 games over the Hawks. "And, when we do that, we're a pretty good team".

Love acknowledged the team has been plagued by a championship "hangover" that manifests itself in short losing streaks and a general nonchalance.

"I like everything", he said.

After the game, Kyrie Irving seemed to poke fun at how the Cavs' win might be viewed. However, a season filled with injuries has a new one as Thompson, the team's only true center, is out with a sprained right thumb. By the time the supporting group started contributing, the game was out of reach.

Alan Williams scored 16 and grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds for Phoenix. He was still feeling the effects a day later, but after delivering a $10,000 check on behalf of Foot Locker to an area club for winning a fitness contest, he still spent time showing the kids his skills and posing for selfies.

Warriors: Golden State has beaten Phoenix 10 straight times. One of these two teams are most likely going to face off against the unsafe Milwaukee Bucks. "But for us, it's just really minimizing the mistakes and then as one of the leaders on the team, bringing guys along as best we can".

  • Julie Sanders