The Atlanta Hawks return to action on Sunday with their season hanging in the balance when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The Hawks came close in Game 3 but a sluggish fourth quarter proved to be their undoing. Atlanta led by four points with just over eight minutes remaining but made just 2 of 12 down the stretch and watched the Cavaliers pull away behind another barrage of three-pointers.
Three-point shooting in this series has been the difference. Cleveland followed up a record breaking performance in Game 2 with 21 made threes in Game 3. They are shooting 53 percent from three-point range in the series and are getting contributions up and down their roster.
Channing Frye came off the bench in Game 3 and scored a career playoff-high 27 points including seven made three-pointers.
As lopsided as a 3-0 deficit is, the Hawks were right there with leads in the second half of Games 1 & 3. Atlanta's offense has been prone to long stretches of poor play and that has proven costly against a talented offensive team like Cleveland.
Defensive adjustments for Atlanta are certainly in order. The Cavaliers are finding their way to way too many wide open looks from beyond-the-arc but if Atlanta can't find a way to score then, the writing is already on the wall for them in this series.
Mike Budenholzer indicated on Saturday that he is likely to stick with Thabo Sefolosha in the team's starting lineup in place of Kyle Korver. Budenholzer made that switch for Game 3 and Korver responded with his best game of the series with 18 points and five made three-pointers.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, May 8, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM