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Milwaukee vs. Cleveland: Bucks Survive In Cleveland

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The Bucks are 14-1 in November. That seems alright.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

It appeared as if the Milwaukee Bucks would cruise to an easy road victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night as they built a 20-point advantage going into halftime.

However, some ridiculous three-point shooting from the Cavs and careless decision making by multiple Bucks players in the second half saw the home team creep back into it. Nonetheless, the Bucks were able to hang on for a 119-110 victory.

That is now 10-consecutive wins for the Bucks who were playing the first game of a back-to-back set.

Three Observations

I usually lead recaps highlighting Giannis Antetokounmpo, but I figured Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo deserved the spotlight for last night’s performance. He does the little things well and is always in the right place at the right time. In 26 minutes, he contributed 11 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals while making 3-of-6 shots from downtown. Donte got off to a hot start in the first quarter, making two threes while also handing out an absolute dime to big man Brook Lopez as he rolled to the basket. DiVincenzo saved his best for last though when the Bucks clung to a single-digit lead late in the fourth. He made a handful of hustle plays to ensure the Bucks extra possessions to help ice the game. He also finished plus-10 which was tied for Giannis for the team-high.

Giannis Antetokounmpo survived an ankle turn scare in the second quarter and still put up a 33 point, 12 rebound double-double in 32 minutes. The first points of the night for either team came on a ferocious jam all in the face of Cavs big man Kevin Love courtesy of the Greek Freak. When the dust settled, Antetokounmpo converted on 14-of-26 shots from the floor and 3-of-4 attempts from the foul line. He struggled from deep, making only 2-of-8 attempts, but was still letting it fly with little to no hesitation. You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but Giannis was huge down the stretch helping the Bucks secure a victory. He hit a few mid-range jumpers while sprinkling in a few dunks. While it would have been nice to see him get a few minutes of rest last night, can’t be too picky with the final result.

George Hill revenge game! He missed Milwaukee’s last game due to injury, but you couldn’t tell by the way he was playing on Friday night. He tortured his former team to the tune of 18 points and four assists in 22 minutes. Hill made 4-of-6 shots from deep in the win and was able to collapse Cleveland’s interior defense with ease. The Bucks are much better when he is on the floor. Every team needs a George Hill.

Bonus Bucks

  • I thought Khris Middleton was solid off the bench in 23 minutes yesterday. He made 5-of-10 shots for 12 points while also adding four rebounds and five assists. His passing is what impressed me the most, specifically his behind the back dish to Robin Lopez on the three-point line with time expiring in the first.
  • Eric Bledsoe scored 10 points but did turn the ball over four times in 26 minutes. He’s been playing at a very high level the last month, so he was due for a relatively quiet outing.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers made 17-of-34 attempts from deep...no, that is not a typo.