Escorted by family members and friends, LeBron James walked out of Quicken Loans Arena cradling his sleepy youngest son with his left arm while clutching an expensive bottle of champagne in his right hand.
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James clapped his hands, pumped his fist and jumped up and down with joy on the Cavaliers bench for much of the fourth quarter. He's just four wins away from fulfilling his goal of winning a championship for the title-starved city of Cleveland. James had 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and the Cavaliers routed the Atlanta Hawks 118-88 to finish off an Eastern Conference finals sweep on Tuesday night. Cleveland advanced to its first NBA Finals since 2007, when it was swept by the San Antonio Spurs. The city hasn't celebrated a title since the Cleveland Browns won the NFL championship in 1964. The Cavaliers franchise has never won an NBA title. The four-time NBA MVP James, coming off his 37- point, 18-rebound and 13-assists triple-double in an epic Game 3 performance, advanced to his fifth straight NBA Finals. Kyrie Irving returned following a two-game absence due to a lingering knee issue and posted 16 points and five assists in 22 minutes. The sweep allows Irving to rest eight days until the Finals begin next Thursday. Irving scored his first points 38 seconds into the game and James soared in the air for an emphatic dunk from just inside the foul line a few minutes later en route to helping the Cavs race out to a 12-4 lead. Cleveland was never threatened from there and built its margin to as many as 31 in the fourth.
Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will not be suspended for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals after the NBA announced Tuesday it would not reclassify his flagrant foul of the Warriors' Andrew Bogut to a Flagrant 2 foul.
Milwaukee officials, leaders of the Wisconsin state Legislature and the president of the Milwaukee Bucks all said Tuesday they're close to reaching a deal to pay for a new $500 million arena for the NBA team.
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