The Cleveland Cavaliers will look to hold on to their commanding 2-0 series lead on Sunday night, when they host the Atlanta Hawks at Quicken Loans Arena in Game 3. The Hawks have their backs against the wall after losing both home games in the first two games of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals.
The news entering Game 3 is not good for Mike Budenholzer's squad. Sharpshooter Kyle Korver suffered an ankle injury while trying to gather a loose ball in Game 2 and many need to have surgery. He has been ruled out for the rest of the playoffs.
"He's a huge part of our leadership, our fabric, our fiber," Budenholzer said about Korver.
The Hawks have also been slowed by workhorse DeMarre Carroll, who is battling a knee injury. Carroll played 34 minutes in Game 2 in a gutsy effort, but failed to make much of an impact in containing LeBron James, who nearly recorded a triple-double.
The Cavs were without Kyrie Irving in Game 2, and the star guard remains questionable for Game 3. Irving worked out on Saturday, and took part in shoot arounds on Sunday.
Based on the first two games of the series, Cleveland may not need him. The Cavs have dominated the Hawks, winning Game 1 by eight points, and winning Game 2 by 12 points. Late in the third quarter of Game 2, Cleveland led by 20 points.
It almost seems inevitable that a Cavs win on Saturday will all but ensure a highly anticipated NBA Finals matchup with the Golden State Warriors. Entering the postseason, the Warriors, who won 67 games in the regular season, were considered the favorites to come out of the West. They have a 3-0 series lead against the Houston Rockets, and ran away with a convincing victory in Game 3 at Toyota Center, 115-80.
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: TNT
Live Stream: Watch here
Betting Odds: Cavs by 9.5
Prediction: Cleveland over Atlanta, 101-90