CLEVELAND—Your shot, Warriors.
Dropping jumpers from every corner and angle, the Cleveland Cavaliers drained an NBA record 25 three-pointers—the most in any regular season or playoff game—during a 123-98 runaway win over the Atlanta Hawks last night in Game 2 of their second-round series.
J.R. Smith made seven ‘3s’ as the Cavs, looking like an Eastern Conference version of Golden State’s “Splash Brothers,” had the most prolific outside shooting game of any team in league history.
From the outset, they were on target and on a tear, and afterward LeBron James struggled to explain it.
“Tonight was a special night for all of us who played,” he noted.
“This league has seen so many great teams, so many great players and great shooters, and for us to set an all-time record is truly special,” James added.
James made four ‘3s’ and scored 27 points for the defending conference champs, who were able to rest their starters for the entire fourth quarter.
Their arms were tired.
Cleveland finished 25-of-45 from behind the arc and had 10 players make at least one “three.”
“When they put those shots down, I don’t know if anyone can beat them, to be honest,” said Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, one of the game’s deadliest shooters.
“We were hoping that they’d start missing at some point.”
The Cavs never did.
They made 18 three-pointers in the first half, then added seven more after halftime to embarrass the Hawks, who now have lost 10-straight post-season games to Cleveland.
The Cavs spent the final few minutes chasing history, and when reserve Dahntay Jones dropped the Cavs’ 24th “trey” with 2:24 left, it bettered the mark of 23 previously held by Orlando (2009) and Houston (2013).
Mo Williams added another “three” for good measure.
Smith made six three-pointers in the first half—the Cavs knocked down seven-straight during one dizzying stretch—as Cleveland built a 38-point lead over the stunned Hawks, who will head home for Game 3 on Friday night down 2-0 in the series and utterly demoralized.
By halftime, the Hawks were down 74-38 and finished.
The team posted on its official Twitter account, “If you take away their 3s, we’re right in this.”