GAMEDAY: Milwaukee vs Cleveland - 4/4/12



Bucks vs Cavaliers
Lead Changes: 5
Times Tied: 2

TV COMPANION RECAP

Attendance: 11,849
Duration: 2 hours and 2 minutes
26-28
17-35
107
98
The Davis Dish - Bucks vs Cavaliers Recap
[swf file="audio/davis_dish_milcle_120405.mp3" player="onepixelout"]
1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter Final Score
29
24
26
28
107
14
25
29
30
98




  • With tonight's win the Bucks earned a 4-0 sweep in the season series with Cleveland. This marks the eighth time in franchise history that Milwaukee has swept the season series with Cleveland, but first since going 4-0 against the Cavs in 2002-03 (in a series that was also clinched on April 4 at the Bradley Center).

  • The victory tonight moved Milwaukee to within one game of New York for the final playoff spot in the East. The Knicks were off tonight, and return to action tomorrow at Orlando.

  • The Bucks used a 12-0 run in the first quarter to open up an 18-7 lead and never trailed the rest of the game. The Cavs went 0-for-4 with three turnovers during the stretch.

  • Monta Ellis led the Bucks in scoring with 30 points, going 8-for-8 for 16 points in the final 4:32 to secure the Bucks victory. It was his second 30-point game for Milwaukee and the ninth time this season he has finished with 30+ points.

  • The Bucks shot over 50% from the field for the fourth time in their last five games and are now 11-1 this season when shooting 50% or better. Seven of the 12 50% performances have come since the March 14 trade that brought Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee.

  • Anthony Parker led the Cavs with a season-high 27 points tonight, his first 20-point game of the season and 28th of his career.

COACH SCOTT SKILES
(On the win) "We won the first quarter, they won the last three. We won the game, which is great. We came out, played well in the first quarter and then they won the last three quarters. It's a team, you feel like, we should handle a little bit easier than we did. But we won the game, which is good to see, and made some shots."

(On early troubles tonight) "Just had a hard time controlling penetration. They made a lot of hustle plays. You've got to give them a lot of credit, without Kyrie (Irving) and being down like that at the end of the first quarter, that'd be a very easy game to just mail in. They hung in there. They beat us in the second quarter to keep it competitive at halftime and then took it to us in the second half. Brandon (Jennings) played well in the fourth quarter, Monta (Ellis) played well. Those guys made baskets when we needed them."

(On Monta Ellis) "We were putting him in pick-and-rolls. He was coming off and beating the guy. He was rising up and knocking them down. And then we also put him in a couple of (isolations), and he was able to back them up a little bit and knock them down. He's a good player."

LUC MBAH A MOUTE
(On fighting off Cleveland at the end) "The game wasn't over and (Cleveland) made big plays. It's a good team. A couple weeks ago they were in the hunt for the eighth spot, so they made plays to come back, and then Monta (Ellis) took over the game."

(On changes made due to the loss of Kyrie Irving) "It's the same thing. We want to go out and be aggressive from the start and create a big lead and sustain it, which is what we did." (On the importance of this homestand) "It's the same thing. We want to go out and be aggressive from the start and create a big lead and sustain it, which is what we did."

LARRY SANDERS
(On Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings) "I think Brandon (Jennings) got hot first and then Monta (Ellis) got hotter. That's a recipe for a victory right there with those two guys. They really put it on them and really contained them."

(On fighting off Cleveland at the end) "This is the NBA. There are a lot of good teams out there, and even though some teams, their records don't portray that, they're still an NBA team. They're capable of coming back any night. They fought hard, but I think we just kind of piled it on them tonight."


PREGAME

PLAYOFF RACE – With just 13 games remaining Milwaukee is in the midst of a critical stretch in the race with New York for the eighth seed. The Bucks and Knicks will meet for the final time on April 11. In the mean time, Milwaukee's four games leading up to the showdown are against teams with a combined .430 winning percentage, while New York's next four are against teams with a combined .683 winning percentage. Here's a breakdown of the remaining schedule for both teams:

Bucks Knicks
Games Remaining 13 12
Home/Away 9/4 5/7
Against Teams >=.500 (H/A) 6 (4/2) 7 (4/3)
Against Teams <.500 (H/A) 7 (5/2) 5 (1/4)
B2B Sets 4 3

MOUTE KICKS BOUTE – Luc Richard Mbah a Moute sat out four of five games from March 5-12 with pain in his knee, but it's the opposition that's been feeling the pain ever since. In the 11 games since he's returned to the lineup (five starts), Mbah a Moute has averaged 10.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while posting his first two double-doubles of the season (including a career-high 22 points and season-high 17 rebounds in a win at Golden State on March 16). He's also shooting 48-of-75 (.640) from the field over that span.

TURNOVER TREAT – The Bucks rank 4th in the NBA in forcing turnovers (16.09 per game). They harassed Washington into 18 TOs on Monday, the fourth time in the last five games they've forced 15+, and have 31 games with 15+ opponent turnovers this season. Only New York (37), Memphis (36) and Miami (34) have had more.

SUP-ERSAN – Ilyasova is having a breakout season, posting career highs in scoring (12.7 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg), FG% (.490), 3P% (.422), 20-point games (10) and double-doubles (15). What makes Ersan stand out as a Most Improved candidate, though, is that he's accomplished it all in just 27.3 minutes per game (just two additional minutes than his previous career high). Ersan has been so efficient in his minutes this season that he's on pace to become the first player to average 12 points and eight rebounds in under 28 minutes per game since a pair of Hall of Famers did so in the early '90s:

Player Season PPG RPG MPG
Ersan Ilyasova (MIL) 2011-12 12.7 8.8 27.3
Arvydas Sabonis (POR) 1995-96 14.5 8.1 23.8
Robert Parrish (BOS) 1992-93 12.6 9.4 27.2
Danny Schayes (DEN) 1987-88 13.9 8.2 26.7

ERSANITY! – During the height of Linsanity in New York, Ilyasova produced a historic night of his own just across the Hudson. Ersan erupted for career
highs of 29 points and 25 rebounds in Milwaukee's win at New Jersey on 2/19, becoming the first Bucks player in over 30 years to tally 25+ points and
rebounds in a single game. Ilyasova becomes just the third member of the 25/25 club in Bucks history, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Swen Nater.

DUN-3-VY – The Bucks offense has been a revelation this season, ranking in the top-half of the league in scoring (98.7 ppg, 8th), 100-point games (26, T- 4th) and offensive rating (102.5, 12th). Last season, Milwaukee ranked 30th in all three categories. A major reason for the improvement has been the scoring off the bench from Mike Dunleavy. The veteran has led a 2nd-unit that ranks 6th in the league at 35.0 bench points per game, and his 20 games this season with 10+ points on 50% or better shooting as a reserve ranks 5th in the league. Dunleavy shot 56.9% from the field during March, the best mark in the month for a guard, and his 54.4% accuracy from behind the arc for the month led the league. Dunleavy is at 44.9% from three on the season, the 5th-best mark in the league and on pace for the best three-point shooting season by a Buck since Dell Curry shot 47.6 % during the 1998-99 season.

  • Milwaukee has shot 50% or better from the field in three of the last four games, winning all three. The Bucks are 10-1 this season when shooting 50%, and six of those 11 50% performances have come since the Mar. 14 trade that brought Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee.

  • Ersan Ilyasova has posted double-doubles in each of the last three games, matching the career-best streak he set earlier this season (2/17-20).

  • The Bucks have scored 50+ points in the first half in 10 of their last 11 games, and held the halftime lead in all 10 of those outings.

  • Milwaukee has posted an assist-to-turnover ration of 1.99:1 over its last seven games. Bucks opponents have managed a ratio of just 1.18:1 over that span.

  • The Bucks rank 8th in the NBA in points per game with 98.7 and 3rd in assists per game with 23.49. They ranked 30th in both of those categories last season.
Jennings
Ellis
Mbah a Moute
Ilyasova
Gooden
PG
SG
SF
PF
C
Irving
Parker

Gee

Jamison
Thompson
*Projected Starters by Bucks.com


Player Injury
Status
Beno Udrih Left hand injury
Day-to-Day
Carlos Delfino Right groin injury
Day-to-Day
Kwame Brown Torn pectoral muscle
Out
Player Injury
Status
Anderson Varejao Right wrist fracture
Out
Daniel Gibson Torn tendon - left foot
Out
Kyrie Irving Right shoulder sprain
TBD
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