Friday night game round-up: Cavs and Spurs win game three matchups

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Cavaliers 121, Hawks 108

When did the Cleveland Cavaliers overtake the Golden State Warriors to become the best three-point shooting team in the entire NBA?

Somehow, after a season of being perfectly average from distance, the Cavs have managed to become completely dominant from 24-feet out.

Cleveland put that lights out shooting from beyond the arc to good use as they won game three over the Atlanta Hawks to open up a big 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. 

Whilst it was J.R. Smith's turn to reap the plaudits after the record-breaking performance in game two, he stepped aside to let Channing Frye become the star of the show as the series moved to the Philips Arena.

Frye scored a career playoff-high 27 points as the Cavaliers overturned an 11-point deficit to run out clear winners in Atlanta. The former Phoenix Suns man shot 7-of-9 from beyond the arc off the bench to lead the Cavs in scoring. Not bad for a man who cost Jared Cunningham and a future second-round pick.

Cleveland got close to hitting the record mark for the second game in a row as they shot 21-of-39 from deep, which would've only been two makes off the original record they smashed earlier this week.

LeBron James put in another excellent performance as he finished the night with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists, a near triple-double. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love ended with 24 and 21 points, respectively.

A game after his exceptional efforts, J.R Smith was more reserved as he ended the night with just six points on 2-of-4 shooting. 

On the Hawks side of the ball, Al Horford top scored with 24 points, while Jeff Teague had 19 points and 14 assists in an impressive solo display. Despite that, Atlanta really needs to show more in game four or this could easily become a sweep. 

Spurs 100, Thunder 96 

The second game of the night also saw another road win as the San Antonio Spurs rode into Oklahoma City and came out with a 2-1 lead in their series over the Thunder.

A few days after OKC won game two on one of the craziest possessions in NBA Playoffs history, the Spurs managed to come up big in the clutch. 

Kawhi Leonard was in impressive form yet again, cementing himself as one of the best players still left in the Playoffs, as he finished the night with 31 points and 11 rebounds in an exceptional all-around performance.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and eight rebounds and Tony Parker added 19 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs in a game that looked like a throwback to the Parker of old as he connected from downtown three times, the first he's done that in a playoff game since 2004.

For the Thunder, Russell Westbrook was yet again their highest scorer as he amassed 31 points of his own, but he took 31 shots to do it, making just 10 of them. That was indicative of OKC's play all night long as they finished with shooting figures of 41.5% from the field and 33% from three-point range, compared to San Antonio who shot over 50% from three.

Westbrook admitted he was taking it himself too many times after the game.

"Too many shots," Westbrook said. "I've got to do a better job getting guys shots. I've got to get other guys involved, especially to beat this team. Even though I had some shots I (usually) make, I've got to read and find ways to get guys shots. I take the blame."

Kevin Durant did his best to help out with 26 points, as Serge Ibaka added 15 and Steven Adams hauled in 11 boards for Oklahoma City.

The Spurs now have their home-court advantage back as we head into game four, with OKC needing to win three of the last four games of this series if they want to make the Western Conference Finals. It will be a big task, but it's still not impossible.

San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Kawhi Leonard
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Atlanta Hawks
Southeast Division

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