CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals for the first time in eight years after completing a four-game sweep in the Eastern Conference finals.

LeBron James scored 15 of his 23 points while the Cavaliers were building a 17-point halftime lead in a 118-88 thrashing of the Atlanta Hawks. James is heading to the NBA Finals for the fifth straight year as he tries to help the city of Cleveland claim its first championship since the 1964 Browns won the NFL title.

Kyrie Irving was effective after missing the previous two games with tendinitis in his left knee, contributing 16 points and five assists in less than 22 minutes.

The Cavs shot 13-for-31 from 3-point range, with J.R. Smith going 4-for-10 in scoring 18 points. Kristan Thompson furnished 16 points and 11 boards in the rout.

Jeff Teague (teeg) scored 17 and Paul Millsap 16 for Atlanta.

In Other NBA News:

— Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will not be suspended for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors after the NBA decided to uphold his flagrant 1 foul. NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn says in a statement Tuesday night that Howard was trying to free himself from Andrew Bogut when Howard "recklessly hit him in the face with an open hand." Thorn says the contact was deemed unnecessary by game officials and the league doesn't "see a reason to modify that call."

— Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver will have surgery on the right ankle he injured in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer did not say what damage Korver has in his ankle. There is no timetable for his return. The NBA's best 3-point shooter in the regular season was injured when he was scrambling for a loose ball and his ankle was rolled on by Cleveland's Matthew Dellavedova.

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