Milwaukee Bucks throw away game to Cavaliers


The turnover has been a season-long issue for the Milwaukee Bucks and it came up and bit them again Sunday in a 108-90 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The Bucks (34-36) had their best shooting game in nearly two months, hitting 54.3 percent of their attempts against the Cavs (46-26), but 23 turnovers led to 28 points for Cleveland, which broke open a close game in the fourth quarter and dominated the second half of play.

More from Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee led 53-44 at the half, but was outscored 64-37 after the break, including 33-17 in the fourth quarter.

It was the sixth straight loss for the Bucks, who lead the Miami Heat by 1½ games for sixth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race with 12 games left on their schedule.

Milwaukee is 4-13 since the trade deadline. Their 54.3 percent shooting was the team’s best since hitting 54.9 percent of its shots in a 109-102 win at Miami on Jan. 27.

“Our backcourt had just as many (turnovers) as the whole team for Cleveland,” coach Jason Kidd told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “They had 11 and Cleveland only had 13 as a team. As a whole, we’ve got to do a better job as a team taking care of the ball.

“We rely on our defense and it keeps us in ball games. But if we’re throwing the ball away and not getting a shot, it won’t help us.”

The Bucks’ bench, so good earlier in the season, is also becoming a liability. Milwaukee was outscored by Cleveland’s reserves Sunday 18-16 and the backups hit just 8-of-22 from the floor, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range.

“We’ve played 10 to 11 guys and early on our bench was playing at a high level,” Kidd said. “Right now our bench isn’t giving us anything.

Mar 22, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Michael Carter-Williams (5) drives for the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith (5) in the fourth quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Carter-Williams scored 19 points. The Cavaliers beat the Bucks 108-90. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

“We’ve got to get something better from our bench and not just rely on those five guys that are starting.”

Michael Carter-Williams led the Bucks with 19 points, five assists, four steals and two blocked shots, but also committed six turnovers. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists and Khris Middleton had 15 points and seven assists to go with five turnovers.

Ersan Ilyasova scored 14 points and Zaza Pachulia went for 11 points and nine boards. John Henson blocked two shots in 15 minutes off the bench, but also picked up four fouls and scored four points.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while also notching six assists and five steals. J.R. Smith was 7-for-9 from 3-point range and finished with 23 points and three steals, while Kyrie Irving scored 20 points with seven assists. Timofey Mozgov and Iman Shumpert each scored 10 points for the Cavs.

The Bucks eighth loss in 10 games comes a few days after Kidd defended the Feb. 19 deal that sent leading scorer Brandon Knight to the Phoenix Suns and brought in Carter-Williams from the Philadelphia 76ers.

“We’re here to build something, not to do something in six months,” Kidd told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “There’s a bigger picture. We feel we have a core here that will be around for a long time and have success.”

Live Feed

Best NBA Odds for Every In-Season Tournament Quarterfinal Game on Tuesday, Dec. 5
Best NBA Odds for Every In-Season Tournament Quarterfinal Game on Tuesday, Dec. 5 /


  • Knicks vs. Bucks prediction and odds for NBA In-Season Tournament QuarterfinalsDaily Knicks
  • Milwaukee Bucks should monitor former fan-favorite stuck on LA Clippers' benchBehind the Buck Pass
  • Coach Griffin provides injury updates on several key Milwaukee BucksBehind the Buck Pass
  • Peter’s Points: NBA Best Bets Today (Expert Predictions, Picks for CJ McCollum, Malik Monk and More)Betsided
  • Best NBA Odds for Every In-Season Tournament Quarterfinal Game TodayBetsided
  • Kidd makes an important point. Did anyone seriously think the Bucks would be in the playoff mix a year after winning only 15 games?

    But the solid play of the team early on ramped up expectations and the slump since the trade deadline has left some in the fan base a bit restless.

    When you think about it, that is a far sight better than the hopelessness of a year ago.

    The Bucks are home again on Tuesday when the host the Heat (32-37) at 7 p.m. Miami lost at Oklahoma City on Sunday 93-75.

    Milwaukee will be looking for a 4-0 sweep of the Heat—its first since the 1990-91 season and just its second ever over Miami. The Bucks won 91-84 on Nov. 16 and 109-102 on Jan. 27 in South Beach and 109-85 at home on Dec. 5.

    More from Dairyland Express

    Next: The Best Of The Milwaukee Braves, Brewers