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Wrap-Up – The Wine and Gold got just what the doctor ordered on Friday night – a get-well win over the Bucks, taking a nine-point edge into intermission and running away with the 93-78 win on Friday night at The Q.
Anderson Varejao led five Cavaliers in double-figures with 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving each doubled-up in the win. Thompson registered his fifth double-double in the last six games, finishing with 14 points and 10 boards, half of those off the offensive glass. Irving finished with 10 points and a game-high 10 assists – without committing a single miscue – before he and the rest of the starters got the fourth quarter off. Dion Waiters came off the bench to tally 13 points, eight boards, three assists and a pair of steals. Tyler Zeller was also solid in reserve, netting eight points, nine boards and three of Cleveland’s blocked shots.
The Cavaliers led by just a point after one quarter, but proceeded to hold Milwaukee to just 55 points the rest of the way. Cleveland crushed the Bucks on the boards, 52-34, and held them to just 40 percent shooting.
Turning Point – Rather than letting the team with the NBA’s worst record stick around, the Wine and Gold put the Bucks away early in the second quarter – going on a 13-4 run to open a double-digit lead. Milwaukee cut Cleveland’s edge to nine, but Tristan Thompson and Varejao went a combined 7-for-9 in the third period and the Cavs closed the quarter up 16. They’d eventually extend their lead to 26 in the fourth.
Game Ball – Kyrie Irving – The last time the Cavs faced Milwaukee at The Q, Kyrie Irving scored 10 of his 39 points in the overtime session. On Friday night, that’s what he scored on the night, but he was just as effective in securing the win. Kyrie played a strong floor game, got each of his teammates involved and didn’t commit a single turnover in 28 minutes of action. He also took Brandon Knight – who he’s had some big scoring battles with – completely out of the game, with Knight going 4-for-12 from the floor for eight points.
By the Numbers – 40 … bench points for the Cavs tonight after averaging just 16 ppg over the last two losses. The Cavs have now outscored the opponent’s bench in 32 of 43 games and have scored at least 40 points on 19 occasions.
Quotable – Tristan Thompson, on the Cavaliers victory over Milwaukee on Friday …
”The last two home games, I felt that we didn’t come out with the competitiveness and the competitive nature and the intensity to get the job done. Coach (Brown) challenged us tonight to come out and play 48 minutes of hard basketball and compete – and that’s what we did from the beginning.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers wrap up the five-game homestand with a pair of Western Conference clubs coming to The Q. On Sunday, Goran Dragich and the surprising Suns come to town. On Tuesday evening, it’s a date with Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. The Cavs then hit the road for three – beginning with a Thursday night affair in the Big Apple and heading to Houston and Dallas for a Texas two-step after their meeting with the Knicks.
Watch Highlights: Cavs 93, Bucks 78