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Wrap-Up – Good teams figure out a way to win when they’re having an off night. And that’s what the Wine and Gold did, getting past a scrappy Bucks squad and holding on for the 111-108 win – their fourth straight – on Tuesday night at The Q.
Cleveland’s Big Three did much of the heavy lifting on Tuesday night – with an assist from a guy who hasn’t seen the floor in over a week.
The triumvirate of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and LeBron James tallied 81 of Cleveland’s 111 points – each picking their spots during what was, at times, a sloppy contest. Love notched 17 of his 27 points in the first quarter – going 6-of-7 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from long-distance in the opening period. Irving, sometimes known as “Mr. Fourth Quarter,” did his work a little early – going 4-of-5 from the floor in the third period, where he netted10 of his 28 points. LeBron, who also led both teams with 10 assists, did his thing in the final period – scoring 15 of his 26 points in the fourth, where he went 9-of-12 from the stripe.
But as good as Cleveland’s All-Star trio was on Tuesday, it was Mike Miller – coming off three straight DNP-CDs – who provided just enough of a spark in the fourth quarter to help push the Cavs past a stubborn young Milwaukee team. Miller finished with six points, seven boards, an assist and a very big blocked shot.
The Cavaliers shot 53 percent from the floor and took 25 more free throws than the Bucks. LeBron made more free throws (14) than Milwaukee took as a team (13).
The Bucks were led by Brandon Knight’s 27 points, with Jabari Parker – the No. 2 overall pick this past June – pitching in with 22.
Turning Point – With just over five minutes to play and the game tied at 89-apiece, Mike Miller blocked a Giannis Antetokounmpo jumpshot attempt, came down with the ball and fed ahead to Tristan Thompson, who hit Kyrie for the layup-and-one. One possession later, LeBron’s layup gave Cleveland a two-possession lead, but Brandon Knight’s layup cut it back to three. But with three minutes remaining, Miller took a feed from Irving and splashed home his second trey of the night. Milwaukee continued to fight, but never got closer than three the rest of the way.
By the Numbers – 78.4 … percentage of the Cavs total points scored by the team’s starters. On Tuesday night, Kyrie, LeBron and Kevin Love accounted for 73 percent of Cleveland’s scoring.
Quotable – Mike Miller, when asked about his big blocked shot in the fourth quarter …
”It’s what I do.”
Up Next – With the win over Milwaukee on Tuesday, the Wine and Gold wrap up a homestand in which they played nine of their last 11 at The Q. On Thursday night, they travel to the Big Apple to try to avenge an opening night loss to the Knicks. The following night, they head north of the border for another chance at payback – taking on a Raptors team that beat Cleveland by 17 at home. On Monday night, the Cavs wrap up their three-game roadie with a battle against the Nets in Brooklyn.