Arc of triumph: Cavaliers win behind record-setting 3-point barrage

Cavs make 25 3-pointers in rout of Hawks (1:23)

The Cavs set an NBA single-game record (regular season or playoffs) draining 25 3-pointers in a 123-98 rout of the Hawks to take a 2-0 series lead. (1:23)

CLEVELAND –- LeBron James admits he has thought of a potential reunion with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.

Well, he and the Cleveland Cavaliers are two steps away from returning to the conference finals after they buried the Atlanta Hawks, 123-98, in Game 2 underneath a record-setting avalanche of 3-pointers.

Cleveland drilled a dizzying 18-of-27 treys in the first half alone to break the NBA record for most 3-pointers made in a half. They would finish with 25 of 45 3-pointers for the game (55.6 percent), setting the NBA record for most 3-pointers made in a game, playoff or regular season.

At first, the Cavs broke down the Hawks' defense with penetration and finding wide-open 3-point shooters. But the Cavs were so hot, it didn't matter if they were open or not.

J.R. Smith knocked down 3-pointers with a man in his face and some falling backward off-balanced. Smith drilled six of his first 10 3-point attempts in the first half and finished with seven treys and 23 points. Ten Cavaliers players made a 3-pointer in the game.

James, who improved to 10-0 lifetime against the Hawks in the postseason, had 27 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Atlanta's Kyle Korver said part of the Hawks' plan was to make James take outside shots. James knocked down 4-of-6 3-pointers, though, with one of his missed attempts coming on a heat check 3 from the edge of the Cavaliers' half-court logo.

The Hawks, who retreat to Atlanta for Games 3 and 4, were in trouble when they surrendered 35 points in the first quarter, falling behind by 15. The Hawks, who were led by Paul Millsap's 16 points and 11 rebounds, gave up 39 points to Cleveland in the second quarter.

Unlike in Game 1, when Cleveland surrendered an 18-point lead in the third quarter, the Cavs kept the 3-point pedal to the metal. They knocked down four more 3-pointers in the third quarter and extended their lead to as much as 41.