CAVALIERS 109-HAWKS 94
LeBron on form as Cavaliers wrap up home advantage
LeBron James scored 34 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers assured themselves of home-court advantage through the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 109-94 defeat of the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.
James produced a dominant performance in the first three quarters before sitting out the final quarter as Cleveland lay down a marker for the postseason with an impressive win that guarantees them top spot.
James scored 19 of his 34 points in the third quarter to help Cleveland take a 90-75 lead before team-mate Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers home with 35 points.
Irving reeled off 11 of Cleveland's first 12 points in the final period, leaving James safely with his feet up and already contemplating the playoffs.
Kevin Love chipped in with 10 points and 14 rebounds while Matthew Dellavedova also scored 10 points off the bench.
Kent Bazemore topscored for the Hawks with 23 points but was restricted to just two points in the second half as Cleveland took control.
The defeat left Atlanta at 48-33, firmly entrenched in a tight battle for the third, fourth and fifth seedings in the East with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
The form of James left Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue purring as the Cavs prepare for the playoff challenges ahead.
James has averaged 28.4 points per game in his past 10 games while shooting at 63 percent. He is also averaging 52 percent from three-point range over the same stretch, a sharp improvement on a poor season average.
"I think when he's taking shots in rhythm, catching and shooting it with confidence ... percentages go up," Lue said.
"The best thing for him is just the shot selection, taking the great shots, the open shots, and then just live with the results."
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