The Atlanta Hawks fell to a scorching hot Cleveland Cavaliers team, who had the greatest display of 3-point shooting in an NBA game, by a final score of 123-98.
The game got off to a seemingly good start for the Hawks. There was a clear emphasis on getting Kyle Korver shots, who had two quick ones, knocking down one early. The Hawks started off the game up 7-2, and also led at 11-8, but things went downhill quick.
The Hawks were not defending the corner three, and let Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving make two consecutive triples against them, forcing the Hawks to call timeout with 6:30 left in the first quarter. J.R. Smith had a hot first quarter with 14 points, shooting 4-of-6 from three. The Cavaliers shot 8-for-12 from deep in the quarter. Paul Millsap was the one bright spot on offense for the Hawks with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field.
While Cleveland was hot, nobody could have predicted the continued onslaught that occurred in the second quarter. The Cavaliers stayed hot, and got hotter. The Hawks, well, got worse.
Atlanta shot just 3-of-12 from the field for the quarter. The Cavaliers on the other hand, went 10-of-15 from three point range. LeBron James, J.R. Smith, and Richard Jefferson (!) all had a pair of threes in the quarter. Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Matthew Dellavedova, and Channing Frye all got in on the fun too. By the end of the half, the Cavaliers had 18 3-pointers, just three off of the single game record for the whole game.
The Hawks looked defeated, and understandably so. The defense was shaky, but the Cavaliers were also seemingly making every shot, and on shots that they missed, they were getting offensive rebounds. The half came, after seeming like it never would, with the Cavaliers on top of the Hawks 74-38. Paul Millsap led all Hawks scorers with 16, and was yet again largely the only thing about the Hawks offense that was working.
When the second half came, it didn't show a change of fortune for the Hawks. The Cavaliers did not take their foot off of the gas, and continued to run over the Hawks. They broke the single game record for threes in a playoff game with 22 early in the third quarter, and the Hawks had pulled all starters from the game by the end of the quarter. Al Horford and Thabo Sefolosha led the Hawks offensively in the third quarter, with eight and seven points respectively.
Overall, in the third quarter the Cavaliers outscored the Hawks 30-28, but the Hawks trailed at the end of the third by a score of 106-70. The Cavaliers shot 4-of-7 from three for the quarter.
The fourth quarter was a whole quarter of garbage time. The Cavaliers tied the single game record (regular season or playoffs) with 23 made threes in a game with just under seven minutes to go. They got the record after a Dahntay Jones three, giving them 24 for the game, and Mo Williams would add fuel to the fire, giving them 25. The Hawks would lose by a final score of 123-98.
Game 3 will be in Atlanta on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET.