Cavs Rally Comes Up Short
And after a difficult first period, the shorthanded Cavaliers did just that – winning the final three quarters. But Milwaukee’s Monta Ellis was simply too much down the stretch – scoring the Bucks’ final 16 points and sending the Wine and Gold to their ninth straight defeat, 107-98, on Wednesday at the Bradley Center.
The Cavaliers were without Kyrie Irving, who didn’t make the trip after re-injuring his right shoulder in a collision with DeJaun Blair the previous night in Cleveland. And his absence was evident early as the Bucks took a 29-14 lead after one quarter.
But the Cavs simply continued to compete, despite the fact that they were down double-digits until the final four minutes of the ballgame.
In those closing four minutes, Antawn Jamison and Anthony Parker kept the Cavs within striking distance, with Parker scoring seven of his team-high 27 points in the final two minutes. But as good as Parker was, the Bucks were that much better – sinking their last nine shots of the ballgame.
“We talked about it before the game, just playing extremely hard and competing, and we’ll see what happens,” said Coach Byron Scott. “I thought we did that.”
Every Cavalier starter finished in double-figures, led by Parker’s 27. The eight-year pro went 11-for-14 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from long distance, adding seven boards, four assists and all three of Cleveland’s steals.
Jamison followed up with 17 points on 6-for-17 shooting, pitching in with seven boards of his own.
Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson and Donald Sloan notched 12 points apiece. Thompson led both teams with nine boards and Donald Sloan, in his second straight road start, led the Cavaliers with eight assists. Lester Hudson, signed less than a week ago, netted nine points, six helpers and five boards off the bench.
“I think we played great, and we competed real hard,” said Hudson. “We just came up short. Hopefully we can carry this over to the next game and come out with a win.”
The Cavs shot 41 percent compared to 57 percent for Milwaukee. But Cleveland was 12-for-13 from the stripe, handed out 27 assists and grabbed 21 offensive rebounds to keep themselves in the game.
The Cavaliers continue their three game road trip on Friday night in Toronto before wrapping up on Easter Sunday in New Jersey.
When A.P. was reminded of how long it’s been, he joked: “Sometimes when people on their deathbed have a little life … I don’t know how much more I have left but this is one of those days where I showed a little bit of life.”
“We’re going to be a lot more cautious the second time around, no matter how long it takes,” said Scott.