Milwaukee was able to jump out to a lead right away, ahead by as much as 16. This was in large part due to Monte Ellis who scored 33 points.
Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao both had injury scares in the first half. Kyrie took a hard foul that left him on the ground for a couple minutes, but he remained in the game. He finished with 26 points and 3 assists. Anderson Varejao suffered a contusion on his left leg, and left to have X-Rays. Luckily they showed up negative and he was able to return. The league's leading rebounder pulled in 18 boards to continue his stellar pace. He only managed 8 points, however.
Unlike last game against the Pacers, the second half was good to the Cavs. They pulled themselves back in the game, and even took the lead 57-56 after C.J. Miles hit two free throws midway through the third quarter. Miles would finish with 17 points as he continued to shoot well from beyond the arc.
Even though Cleveland fought their way to a lead there was a real lack of energy throughout the contest. It's unclear whether this was due to the season wearing on the young team, or a general feeling of disappointment and pessimism with the year. The Cavs have now lost 17 of their last 20 games.
After watching this game it was clear one thing had been left out of the blueprint to closing games, which was posted yesterday; turnovers. With the game so close at the end Cleveland continually shot themselves in the foot with a season-high 27 turnovers. In addition, after praising the potential of Samardo Samuels, he came out and made me look like those people predicted doomsday last May. He played 6 lackluster minutes, and scored two points.
Tyler Zeller came off the bench and played 32 minutes; much more than he's used to. Zeller grabbed 3 boards and scored 6 points.
The team traveled to New York today, to take on the Knicks.
Coach Byron Scott will need to motivate the team somehow, because if they put this effort in against the Knicks they will get blown out of the water.
The game tips at 7:30 in Madison Square Garden.Tags: Basketball, Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA