Bucks Bounce Cavs in Canton
The Cavaliers took the show on the road for their first preseason game against an NBA opponent – welcoming Milwaukee to the Canton Civic Center. The Bucks were less than gracious guests, however, rolling over the Wine and Gold – 97-80 – on Tuesday night.
One night after topping the Euroleauge’s Montepaschi Siena at The Q, the Cavaliers turned in an offensively uneven performance in central Stark County on Tuesday. Only two players – Cleveland’s starting backcourt of C.J. Miles and Kyrie Irving -- notched double-figure scoring.
Miles, getting his second straight start to begin the preseason, got the Cavs going early – canning a pair of quick treys and finishing with eight of his team-high 18 points in the first period. The eighth-year swingman was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and led both squads with three steals.
”We all are working hard every day trying to keep getting better and showing growth,” said Miles. “I don’t believe in taking things away from losses, a loss is a loss. At this point, there are things that we did better today than we did last game, it just doesn’t show as far as the outcome.”
Cleveland trailed by just a deuce after one quarter, but the Bucks outscored Cleveland, 27-18, in the second. The Wine and Gold got within double-figures in the third period, but Milwaukee ran away with the affair down the stretch – pushing their lead to 19 late in the fourth.
A visibly unhappy Byron Scott appraised his team’s effort after the affair.
“From our standpoint, I thought we took a step back as a team tonight because of the way we played,” lamented Scott. “I thought we played selfish basketball. (We) didn’t move the ball, and I thought they played hard and they shared the ball.”
The Bucks had six players finish in double-digits – led by their starting backcourt of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, who finished with 15 points apiece in the victory.
Following up Miles’ 18-point effort was sophomore point guard Kyrie Irving, who went 5-of-11 from the floor for 16 points. The reigning Rookie of the Year added five boards and three assists.
“We just have so many weapons on the perimeter, I feel that some of us don’t want to step on each other’s toes or be too aggressive,” said Irving, explaining some of the early snags. “We definitely have to find that in-between game and learn how to trust each other a lot more, especially on the defensive end. Offensively, it will take care of itself.”
With roster cuts looming, Coach Scott was determined to mix up his rotations in the second night of the preseason back-to-back. Kelenna Azubuike, Lon Leuer and Jeremy Pargo got long runs on Tuesday, with Justin Holiday, Kevin Anderson and Micheal Eric getting some floor time in the fourth. Omri Casspi and Samardo Samuels got the night off.
Leuer started out strong – canning his first three shots. He went on to finish with eight points on 4-of-9 shooting.
Overall, Cleveland shot 39 percent from the floor and 70 percent from the stripe. They were only outrebounded by a pair of boards – 42-40 – but committed 22 turnovers to Milwaukee’s 12.
The Wine and Gold get a few days of practice to smooth out some rough edges before embarking on a weekend back-to-back on Friday night in Champagne, Illinois against the Bulls and on Saturday night against Indiana at The Q.