Atlanta vs. Cleveland Preview

The Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers will both be trying to pick up a win on Sunday when they battle at Quicken Loans Arena.

Atlanta At Cleveland
When: 8:30 PM ET, Sunday, May 24, 2015
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT
PREDICTION: Cavaliers 112, Hawks 93
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Oddsmakers currently have the Cavaliers listed as 8½-point favorites versus the Hawks, while the game’s total is sitting at 190.

Cleveland won its last outing, a 94-82 result against the Hawks on May 22. The Cavaliers covered in that game as a +3.5-point underdog, while the 176 combined points took the game UNDER the total.

Two other Atlanta starters are ailing as center Al Horford briefly left Game 2 after hurting his right knee and small forward DeMarre Carroll was largely ineffective while playing with a sprained left knee suffered in Game 1. “I wouldn’t turn this chance down,” Carroll told reporters after having just six points and three rebounds in 34 minutes. “I wouldn’t turn this opportunity down for the world. I would’ve gone out there on one leg.” To remain in the series, the Hawks will hope key reserve Dennis Schroder steps up, and they need contributions from substitutes such as Kent Bazemore, Shelvin Mack and Mike Scott.

Team record: 68-28 SU,54-41-1 ATS
Atlanta is 5-11-1 ATS in its last 17 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Atlanta’s last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Atlanta’s last 15 games on the road
Atlanta is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Cleveland

Cleveland didn’t miss Irving in Game 2 as James took a playmaking approach and the Hawks were powerless to defend him. “I have a gift and that’s why I’m able to keep defenses off guard because they say ‘OK, we’re going to make him score or make him pass,’” James said in his postgame press conference. “They really can’t make me do what I don’t want to do. I go out and I play the game the right way.” The loss of power forward Kevin Love (shoulder) for the rest of the playoffs has become a non-issue with Thompson (16 rebounds in Game 2) controlling the boards to help the Cavaliers outrebound Atlanta 96-76 in the first two games.

Team record: 63-31 SU,47-47 ATS
Current Streak: won 5 straight games.
Cleveland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Cleveland’s last 5 games
Cleveland is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home
Cleveland is 23-2 SU in its last 25 games at home

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