Kevin Love scored a season-high 25 points, LeBron James added 19 and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 109-97 on Saturday night.
The teams met for the first time since the Cavaliers swept the Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals, and it didn’t take long for Cleveland to continue its dominance.
The Cavaliers took control after trailing 17-16 midway through the first quarter. Cleveland quickly built a 10-point lead, stretched the margin to 57-40 late in the first half and the Hawks never recovered.
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was ejected in the second quarter after making contact with an official. Budenholzer was given a technical for arguing a call, bumped referee Ben Taylor after stepping on the floor and was quickly tossed.
Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap each scored 14 points for Atlanta, which has lost four of five.
Love and James both had 11 rebounds. J.R. Smith scored 15 points while Tristan Thompson tied a season high with 16 rebounds.