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Rapid Recap: Bucks 102, Cavaliers 107

A Night to Never, Ever Remember.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

It seems the Milwaukee Bucks have a penchant for losing to some of the league’s worst teams, dropping the ball with a skeleton crew to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 107-102. The entire first half was a slugfest for the Bucks, who couldn’t win either of the initial quarters en route to a 58-47 disadvantage at halftime. In the third, Milwaukee finally managed to tie it up at 81 heading into the final period. In the fourth, shoddy offensive execution and the Cavaliers insistence on punishing Milwaukee’s switching defense led to their downfall.

I get that this team was missing Giannis and plenty of other players, but that’s still no excuse to lose to this Cavaliers team, no matter how frisky they’ve been of late. This won’t have a bearing on the Bucks’ ultimate ability to progress come playoff time, but it could impact their seeding if they can’t pull these types of wins off down the stretch. Toronto will only keep screwing up so many times.

With no Giannis Antetokounmpo playing tonight, Khris Middleton had to lead a shorthanded Bucks squad. He was tops on the team in terms of points, finishing with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe struggled from the field, 7-19, ending at 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, all of which paint a rosier picture than it was for Bled tonight. Brook Lopez had a quietly efficient night at 19 points on 7-11 shooting.

For Cleveland, all 11 of their players that entered the game scored at least a point. Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton led the way for the Cavaliers, scoring 23 and 25 respectively. Brandon Knight was the other high man at 13 points while Kevin Love struggled to just 1-10 from the field for six points.

Stat that Stood Out

Oh there are so many to choose from. Let’s go with Milwaukee’s figures near the rim though tonight without Giannis. Not only were the Bucks outscored 44-32 in the paint, but they shot just 48.1% near the rim, while the Cavaliers shot 76.2%. That’s the Bucks’ second lowest percentage in that location for any game this season, the OKC loss being the only worse game. Meanwhile, the Cavs’ figure is the second highest for an opponent against the Bucks this year.

Oh ya, Cleveland is also the worst rim protection defense in the league. Tough stuff for the Bucks.