Bucks Best Cavs at The Q
Whether Milwaukee is handing the Cavaliers a one-point overtime loss – like they did back in February – or drubbing them by 37, it’s fair to say Scott Skiles’ squad knows how to ruin a Friday night in Cleveland.
The Bucks ran their way to 71 first-half points against the shorthanded Cavaliers, taking a 27-point advantage into the locker room. Needless to say, it didn’t get better from there. Cleveland got within 25 on two occasions in the second half, but the final time they did – trailing 109-84 with 4:46 remaining – Milwaukee went on a 12-0 run to end the game.
“We just have to come out with more fight,” lamented Coach Scott. “We have to play harder. I still think we’re playing hard, but right now, you have to go above and beyond, especially on the defensive end because that is what’s killing us right now.”
Despite the grim results, both Cavalier rookies turned in strong outings.
Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 29 points before heading to the locker room at the end of the third quarter with a right shoulder sprain.
Irving tallied 13 points in the first period and set a career-high – splashing home all six three-pointers he attempted. Overall, this past June’s No. 1 pick finished 11-of-20 from the floor, adding a team-high five assists to go with three boards.
Fellow first-rounder, Tristan Thompson, doubled-up with 15 points and a team-high 11 boards – nine off the offensive glass.
Alonzo Gee was the only other Cavalier to notch double-figures, going 8-of-11 from the floor for 19 points.
The Cavaliers bench didn’t contribute a lot to the cause on Friday night. Aside from Samardo Samuels – who went 3-of-6 from the field for six points – the rest of the second unit shot just 3-for-23.
The Bucks bested Cleveland in about every statistical category – shooting 57 percent to the Cavaliers’ 40, out-rebounding the Wine and Gold, 52-41, handing out 32 assists to Cleveland’s 17.
Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 28 points and Ersan Ilyasova netted 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter. Mike Dunleavy killed the Cavs off the bench, going 4-of-5 from long distance for 16 points. Beno Udrih also came off the bench to lead both teams with 10 helpers.
The loss was Cleveland’s sixth straight against Milwaukee and sixth straight overall.
The best aspect of Friday is that the Cavaliers travel to New York for a Saturday night affair against a Knicks team they’ve had a great deal of recent success against.
“I don’t know how I got it, I was just out there playing hard,” recalled Hudson. “I knew I had to get one steal. My coach and the guy who takes stats (were) telling me I needed one more steal and one more assist. And I got both on the same possession.”
“It was good just to see him on the court, being out there, going through some things,” said Scott before Friday’s game. “He had just come back from the weight room and had gotten his cardio in and everything so he had a nice little sweat going. I talked to him afterward and said the same thing: ‘I’m glad to see you out there.’ And he said, ‘It felt great to be out there.’ It made my day a little bit brighter.”