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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 26 April, 2019
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Spurs take series lead, Cavs poised to sweep Hawks in the NBA playoffs

The San Antonio Spurs lead the Oklahoma City Thunder 2-1 in the west, while the Cleveland Cavaliers are in control in the east.

Image: John Bazemore

THE SAN ANTONIO Spurs held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-96 in game three of their Western Conference semi-final NBA play-off on Friday.

Oklahoma City huffed and puffed on home court, closing to within two points late in the final quarter but San Antonio overcame the challenge to take a 2-1 series lead.

After Tony Parker converted a pair of free throws to put the Spurs up by four, the Thunder then hit back to make it a two-point game with 4.8 seconds left on the clock.

But the Thunder’s hopes of a comeback were eventually dispelled by Kawhi Leonard, who showed tremendous composure to nail two free throws 2.7 seconds from the end.

Leonard finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds in a double-double display, aided by LaMarcus Aldridge’s 24 points.

Thunder pair Russell Westbrook (31) and Kevin Durant (26) combined for 57 points.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a win away from back-to-back series sweeps after rallying to beat the Atlanta Hawks 121-108 in game three.

Source: NBA/YouTube

Trailing 2-0 in the Eastern Conference semi-final, the Hawks needed a response and they got, leading 63-55 at half-time and 91-85 heading into the final quarter.

The Hawks also led 103-99 with just over eight minutes remaining in Atlanta, however, the top-seeded Cavaliers dominated down the stretch to earn a 3-0 series buffer.

Cleveland, who saw off the Detroit Pistons 4-0 in the first round, were led by Channing Frye’s 27 points, which included seven three-pointers on the road.

LeBron James (24 points, 13 rebounds) and Kevin Love (21 points, 15 rebounds) both contributed double-doubles, while Kyrie Irving posted 24 points.

Al Horford had 24 points for the Hawks, who face elimination when they host the Cavs in game four on Sunday.

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