For several stretches during the game, it looked like the Cleveland Cavaliers might have what it takes to beat one of the hottest teams in the NBA without LeBron James. Unfortunately, poor shooting plagued the Cavs at several positions, and the Milwaukee Bucks won their 9th out of 10 games 92-85.
Five Bucks scored in double figures, led by Brandon Jennings' 25 points.
Milwaukee moved into a tie for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with the win.
Antawn Jamison led all scorers with 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting, but had no shot attempts in the fourth quarter as the Cavs struggled to get him the ball at any point on the court. Delonte West was the only other Cav in double figures, as he poured in 27 points of his own on 11-of-18 shooting.
As for Cavalier players not named Antawn or Delonte, it was a night to forget. The rest of the team combined to go 12-for-40 from the field (30 percent). Mo Williams earned the futility award for the night, shooting just 3-for-17 from the floor (18 percent)
Much like the previous night against Detroit, nothing went well early on for the Cavaliers. Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee's 7-foot center, was having his way inside against a much smaller (and less experienced) J.J. Hickson. Bogut rattled off 7 points and four rebounds in the opening quarter, and set the tone for an opening stanza that ended with the Bucks on top 25-14.
Of course, it didn't help much that the Cavs shot just 6-for-21 (29%) from the floor in the quarter. Williams missed all five of his attempts, and Cleveland had four turnovers to go with 6 field goals and two assists.
All that turned around in the second period. Delonte West led the turn-around by scoring 10 straight points to begin a 15-0 run that gave the Cavaliers their first lead of the game at 33-31. The Cavs shot 8-9 from the floor to open the quarter, which was amplified by a 7:20 drought in which Milwaukee did not score a single field goal.
Antawn Jamison, despite a nightmarish half from the free throw stripe (1-for-5), poured in 15 points by himself in the second quarter, giving him 20 points and 6 rebounds in the first half.
Jamison and West combined for 27 straight Cavaliers points over a span of nearly 15 minutes in the half, but they were far from finished with their streak.
In the third quarter, Jamison and West combined for another 16 points, but the Cavaliers' overall effort was still lacking at times. Three straight possessions with turnovers hurt Cleveland as the Bucks burst out to another 13-point lead. The quarter ended with Milwaukee up 8 points, 69-61.
Throughout the fourth quarter, the two teams basically traded baskets. The lead swelled to 15 points for Milwaukee at one point, but it usually stayed within the 8-11 point range.
The Cavs have Sunday off before returning home for San Antonio. At this point, there is no word on whether or not James will play against the Spurs. If he decides to rest another game, it will equal a week off for the King. After San Antonio, Cleveland will not play again until they travel to Philadelphia Friday night.