Post-mortem: Cavs 111, Bucks 103
Yes, that was something to behold. Cavs fans have seen LeBron James carry the team before, but on few occasions have they seen him carry it quite like that.
Unleashing a 24-point barrage - 16 of it in the first 2:50 of the third quarter - James may as well had donned a cape and slapped an ''S'' on his chest because he took the Cavs from a six-point halftime deficit to a 14-point lead in that span.
What's amazing is that he did it with three-pointers that he shot from further away each time. Some of us on press row replayed footage online after the game and came to the conclusion that one shot came from at least 30 feet away.
By the time he was through he had his teammates jumping and giggling on the bench and even the fans cheering on the Bucks left impressed with his display.
He was hot in the first half scoring 25 points and perhaps a wicked three-pointer to end the half set the tone for him in the third, but Coach Mike Brown gave credit to the team's defense which came out blazin' to start the half.
Added incentive came from an imbroglio that saw Charlie Villanueva draw a Flagrant Foul-2 for an elbow that landed to Anderson Varejao's face. Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas went to protect his teammate and soon found Villanueva's hand around his neck. Officials ejected the Bucks' player, Ilgauskas got T'd up.
The funniest part, however, came from referee Luis Grillo's takedown of Villanueva to avoid more violence. That moment seemed to motivate the Cavaliers more and from there it was a matter of when, not if, they won.
Milwaukee Bucks Coach Scott Skiles on the Varejao indident:
I thought it was the right call because he grabbed him above the neck. I hope they launch an investigation who shot Varejao and all. I thought there was some acting involved.Cavs Coach Mike Brown on James' performance:
What an unbelievable performance by LeBron in the third quarter. I've been around him for going on four years and that, that was spectacular.At the half: Bucks 57, Cavs 51.
Ugliest professional basketball game EVER. Yes, maybe that's a grand over statement. Still that doesn't excuse the display here in Milwaukee right now. The Cavs committed 13 turnovers and are getting pushed around in the paint.
The Cavs are making Charlie Villanueva, who has 16 points, look like an All-Star while LeBron James is keeping the Cavs in this with 25, but getting little in the way of support.
The Game: Cavaliers (41-11) at Milwaukee Bucks (27-30)
Broadcast: TV: FSOhio Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters: LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C); Tarence Kinsey (G); Mo Williams (G); Bucks: Richard Jefferson (F); Charlie Villanueva (F); Francisco Elson (C); Luck Richard Mbah a Moute (F); Ramon Sessions (G).
Officials: Luis Grillo; Monty McCutcheon; John Goble.
Streaking: Cavs have won two straight; Bucks have lost one.
What to watch: Defense: Can the Cavaliers continue their return to defense as they did against the Toronto Raptors? That game felt a lot like the beginning of the season, and this one should be easy, but it feels eerily like a trap game.
From the locker room:
Mike Brown on getting Zydrunas Ilgauskas more involved down low:
We have to try to do a better job of getting him the ball and we will try to do that some (Friday). In terms of what that will equate to I’m not sure. (Toronto) was very, very small the last game and (Milwaukee) isn’t going to be that small.
Delonte West on when he may return to action:
The reality at this point is the bone is almost healed – it’s about 90 percent healed – and the doctors and the training staff were telling me to just listen to my wrist. Your body will always let you know. I’m getting there. It’s getting close. Hopefully, it will be this Sunday.
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