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Kevin Love scores 25, Cavs make 19 3s and stun Bucks



The Cleveland Cavaliers are legit, and the defending NBA champions now understand it, too.

Kevin Love scored 25 factors, Cedi Osman added 23 and the Cavs pulled off their most spectacular win in what’s turn out to be a turnaround season, 115-99 over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday evening.

“This isn’t the Cleveland we knew over the previous few years,” Bucks celebrity Giannis Antetokounmpo stated. “They’ve a very good group and we now have to respect them extra. They’re a playoff group and are preventing for the title themselves.”

A 12 months in the past, the Cavs gained simply 22 video games and located themselves within the draft lottery for the third straight season. Not solely has Cleveland surpassed its win whole already this season, however the Cavs (30-19) are tied for probably the most wins within the Japanese Convention.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love (0) reacts after hitting a 3-point shot within the first half of an NBA basketball sport in opposition to the Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, in Cleveland.
(AP Photograph/Tony Dejak)

“It’s who we’re,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff stated when requested concerning the win’s significance. “We tackle all challenges. We don’t run from anyone. We don’t again down. We give everyone our greatest shot.”

The Cavs made 19 3-pointers — seven within the second quarter — and gained for the eighth time in 9 video games. Additionally they leap-frogged Milwaukee within the standings, and served discover they’ve bought larger plans forward.

“We really feel if we play onerous and keep true to our system, we are able to beat anyone,” stated Love, a five-time All-Star thriving in a reserve position this season. “I simply wish to bottle up what we now have proper now and keep hungry.”

Darius Garland scored 19 and rookie Evan Mobley had 16 for the Cavs. Jarrett Allen returned after lacking one sport with an sickness and had 10 factors and 10 rebounds.

Antetokounmpo scored 26 factors after lacking a sport with knee soreness, however had seven of Milwaukee’s 19 turnovers that led to 31 factors for Cleveland. Bobby Portis added 22 factors and Khris Middleton 21 for the Bucks, who had their profitable streak stopped at three.

Milwaukee has misplaced a season-high 4 straight on the highway, and the difficulty actually began within the third interval.

Cleveland regrouped after a gradual begin, tightened its perimeter protection and constructed an eight-point halftime lead. The Cavs then opened the second half with an 11-2 run that included three 3-pointers in a 48-second span by Garland, Mobley and Dean Wade.

The Cavs pushed their result in 93-72 earlier than Garland went out briefly with again tightness. The younger level guard appeared to land awkwardly after making a reverse layup and went to the locker room for therapy earlier than returning. Bickerstaff stated Garland is OK.

“They performed lights out tonight,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer stated. “I don’t know what the precise analogy is, however they performed very well. They beat us fairly good. Stay ball turnovers is when transition protection is the hardest, and we made numerous them.”

Earlier than the sport, Bickerstaff figured 3-pointers can be the important thing due to Milwaukee’s desire to shoot them — and provides them up.

After the Bucks made six 3s within the first quarter, the Cavs did them one higher with seven within the second to take a 65-57 lead on the half.

Whereas the surface taking pictures was spectacular, Mobley had probably the most memorable bucket within the half when Garland slipped him a move on the baseline and Cleveland’s large man dunked over Antetokounmpo.

“An unbelievable play,” Love stated. “These guys are so gifted. There’s going to be numerous these performs coming.”


Bucks: Milwaukee began 6 of seven on 3-pointers however completed simply 9 of 32. … G Wesley Matthews (bruised left knee) missed the sport. Budenholzer stated Matthews stayed in Milwaukee for therapy. He may return for Friday’s sport or “shortly after.” … Budenholzer stated he sees the Cavs’ confidence rising. “They’ve a perception,” he stated. “You’ll be able to see it and you may really feel it.”

Cavaliers: G Rajon Rondo grew to become the 14th participant to achieve 7,500 profession assists. … Garland, Isaac Okoro and backup guard Kevin Pangos all share the identical Jan. 26 birthday. At shootaround, the group made Mobley sing glad birthday to the trio. “He’s bought fairly respectable vocals,” Wade stated. “I’d like to listen to him possibly a contact louder.” … Lauri Markkanen (ankle) missed his second straight sport and is predicted to sit down out a number of weeks.


Bucks guard Grayson Allen served the one-game league suspension he obtained for his flagrant-2 foul in opposition to Chicago’s Alex Caruso, who suffered a fractured proper wrist and will miss two months.

Allen traveled with the group and took part within the morning shootaround.


Bucks: Start a three-game homestand Friday in opposition to New York.

Cavaliers: Go to Detroit on Sunday.