Social Nav Bar Overrides - v2019
Global Sub Nav - v2019
Blank Spacer - 20px
Wrap-Up -- Over the course on an 82-game season, every team is bound to have a clunker or two along the way – even a machine that’s been as running as smoothly as the Cavaliers have this year.
The Wine and Gold turned in one of those on Tuesday night – as the Bucks overcome an early deficit to shred Cleveland’s interior defense in the second half, handing the Cavs just their third loss of the season, a 118-101 decision at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Cleveland came into the contest having won three of its last four in Milwaukee, and the story went according to script early – with the Cavaliers jumping out to a two touchdown lead late in the first quarter.
But the Bucks closed the period on a 10-0 run and things spiraled from there. And by the three-minute mark of the third quarter, the roles were reversed, with the Wine and Gold trailing by 14. At that point, Tyronn Lue had seen enough – substituting his entire starting five as the Bucks had their way offensively.
His starters returned to the game early in the fourth, but the Bucks were well into their rhythm at that point, and by the midway point of the fourth, Lue emptied his bench for the second and final time.
The Big Three all performed well on Tuesday night.
LeBron James led Cleveland with 22 points to go with four boards and four assists – but he also committed a game-high seven turnovers, four of which, by his own admission, were unforced.
Kyrie Irving hit the 20-point mark for the 32 time in his last 37 outings – including Playoffs – finishing with 20 points on 5-for-12 shooting, including 2-of-5 from long range, to go with three assists and a steal.
The reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Kevin Love, doubled-up for the 10th time in his last 11 outings – finishing with 13 points and a game-high 13 boards in the loss.
But neither the Big Three nor any other member of the Wine and Gold had an answer for the Greek Freak – Giannis Antetokounmpo – who tied a career-high with 34 points, going 13-of-19 from the floor (mostly from close-range) and adding 12 boards, five assists, five steals and a pair of blocked shots.
The Wine and Gold start strong but the Bucks dash past the Cavs to hand them just their third loss of the season.
Jabari Parker followed up with 18 points for Milwaukee, but it was their bench that did most of the damage aside from Giannis, combining for 48 points – 17 by Michael Beasley – in the win.
On the night, the Bucks shot 54 percent from the floor, but the team that gets over 50 percent of its baskets on layups and dunks did exactly that on Tuesday night – doubling Cleveland’s production in the paint, 68-34.
Turning Point -- As important as the Bucks’ late run to end the first quarter was, it was their energy out of the halftime locker room that sealed the Cavs’ fate on Tuesday.
Trailing by four at the break, LeBron James and Kevin Love hit back-to-back triples to start the second half and tie the affair at 65-apiece with 8:01 to play in the period. But things escalated quickly from there.
Over the next five minutes, the Bucks would go on a 13-2 run, prompting Coach Lue to substitute his entire lineup. Things didn’t get better from there, with Milwaukee closing the quarter on a 14-7 burst to put the Cavaliers squarely behind the 8-ball to start the fourth.
By the Numbers – 10 … games so far this season in which LeBron James and Kyrie Irving have both reached the 20-point plateau, including Tuesday’s defeat in Milwaukee.
Quotable – Kevin Love, on Coach Lue’s mass substitution late in the third …
”He just wanted us to play harder. We weren’t getting the job done. I think it was an effort between the coaching staff and everybody to get a new lineup in there and get a fresh start. He got us back in there in the fourth but it wasn’t enough.”
Up Next -- After Tuesday night’s lopsided loss at the Bradley Center, the Wine and Gold make a one-game stopover back at The Q – a nationally-televised Thursday night matchup with the Clippers at The Q. The following night, the Cavaliers embark on their longest road trip of the young season – beginning with their first regular season matchup against Dwyane Wade and the new-look Bulls. On Monday night, it’s Cleveland’s third matchup with Toronto this season, followed by a date with the Knicks in New York two nights later.