Cavs Bounce Bucks in Milwaukee
Wrap-Up – The Cavaliers got the best Christmas present they could have hoped for – a victory over Milwaukee that snapped a six-game slide, a 17-game skein against the Central Division and a nine-game skid to the Bucks. The win was no gift, however. The Cavaliers – who were forced to fly on Saturday morning – were the aggressors all night, using a 21-10 third-quarter run to blow the game open in the third quarter. Milwaukee made a run, but the Wine and Gold kept the pressure on for the much-needed 94-82 victory on Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.Every Cavalier starter notched double-figures, led by Dion Waiters, who went 9-for-17 from the floor for 18 points. Tristan Thompson doubled-up for the third straight game – tallying 14 points and 14 boards – and Tyler Zeller doubled up for the first time in his career with 11 points and 10 boards. C.J. Miles canned three threes off the bench and added 16 points.
Turning Point – It’s an old story, but ending quarters on the road is always huge. On Saturday, the Wine and Gold opened up a 20-point lead with just over four minutes to play in the third period. But, behind Monta Ellis, the Bucks went on a 16-2 run to close the score to 69-63. On the Cavs’ last possession of the third, however, Kyrie Irving went coast-to-coast and scored on a high teardrop off the glass. It staved off Milwaukee’s comeback, the Cavs scored the first four points of the fourth quarter, and the Cavs essentially coasted to the finish line.
Game Ball – Tristan Thompson – With Anderson Varejao on the shelf, Tristan Thompson has really picked up the slack, turning in his third straight double-double – and eighth of the young season – with another strong performance on Saturday. The second-year forward was 6-of-8 from the floor, adding an assist and a blocked shot. The Wine and Gold were +25 with Thompson on the floor.
By the Numbers – 15.5 … points per game C.J. Miles is averaging in 11 games since December 5.
Quotable – Coach Byron Scott, on the Cavaliers’ third-quarter performance on Saturday night …
“Our third quarters over the last few games have been unbelievably bad. And I thought tonight, our third quarter was really good. Guys came out and were a lot more focused than we have been in recent games and played really good on the defensive end. And we moved the ball really well in the quarter, that’s something we need to continue to do.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers get a rare three-day break as a grueling December winds down. They don’t play again until a December 26 visit to our nation’s capital to take on the Wizards. On Friday night, the Wine and Gold welcome the Hawks to The Q on Anderson Varejao Wig Night.