Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/14/12
CLEVELAND -- Guard Monta Ellis had a game-high 33 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their ninth consecutive win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 90-86, on Friday at Quicken Loans Arena. The short-handed Bucks (12-9) have now won four in a row. Three key players, including valuable reserve Mike Dunleavy, didn't even make the trip to Cleveland. The Cavs (5-19) haven't beaten Milwaukee in almost two years, their last win against the Bucks coming on Nov. 24, 2010. It's a wonder the Cavs even stayed in the game. They turned the ball over a season-high 27 times and shot just 39.5 percent from the field. The Cavs outrebounded Milwaukee, 46-43. The 6-foor-3 Ellis connected on 12 of 24 attempts from the field. He added six rebounds and four assists. His backcourt mate, Brandon Jennings, added 16 points and dished out a game-high eight assists. For the Cavs, now 0-7 against the Central Division this season, guard Kyrie Irving fired in 26 points and had three assists. He made 9 of 23 shots from the field and 6 of 6 from the foul line. Center Anderson Varejao finished with eight points and a game-high 18 rebounds. He is first in the NBA with 14.8 rebounds a game. Shooting guard C.J. Miles added 17 points for the Cavs, while Daniel Gibson had 11 points. The Cavs had players dropping like flies in the first half. First, Irving went down hard under the Cleveland basket with 4:24 left in the first quarter. It might have looked worse than it was. Varejao suffered a left lower leg contusion in the second quarter. He went to the locker room for X-rays. About the time the Cavs were announcing his return was questionable, he was sitting at the scorer's table ready to go back into the game. The Cavs trailed by nine at halftime, 52-43. Irving had eight of his 14 points in the first half. Cleveland stormed back in the third quarter and took a one-point lead. The Bucks jumped out to a 25-17 advantage after the first quarter. They held the Cavs to just 23.8 percent shooting from the field in the first quarter. The Bucks shot 47.4 percent from the floor. Ellis had eight points in the first. NOTES: In honor of the tragedy in Connecticut, the Cavs had a moment of silence before their game against Milwaukee. "With the tragedies that happened in Connecticut, I wanted to send a shout out to them," Cavs coach Byron Scott said. "I have no idea how those families are feeling. My heart goes out to them. I don't understand it. It's so senseless. As much as we love this game, this doesn't mean (anything compared to that). This organization is thinking about them." He was asked if it would affect his players. "I don't know," he said. "It could. It's affecting their coach." ... The Cavs got good news regarding rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters. He could return to the Cavaliers' lineup on Tuesday vs. Toronto. "He's ready to go," Scott said. "He thought he was playing tonight, for some reason." Counting the weekend games, Waiters will have missed eight games with the sprained left ankle and bone bruise. ... Scott wouldn't say if Waiters or Miles would start, once the former returns. According to Scott's doctrine, injured players don't usually lose their starting jobs. Miles scored 28 points in back-to-back games against the Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana. "With the way he's playing confidence-wise, I'll cross that when we get there," Scott said. ... Besides Dunleavy who did not make the trip, the other two Bucks who stayed home were forward Tobias Harris (right elbow laceration) and guard Beno Udrih. Dunleavy could play on Saturday vs. Los Angeles Clippers. Guard Doran Lamb (illness) flew into Cleveland on Friday and will be the only guard available off the bench. Two other players were on their injury report, but were available to play on Friday: Larry Sanders (illness), who started at center; and forward/center Ekpe Udoh (left wrist sprain). ... Cavs forward Omri Casspi (stomach problems) missed his second game in a row. ... The Cavs play at New York on Saturday. The Knicks have the best record in the Eastern Conference this year and are 9-0 at Madison Square Garden. The Cavs are 0-7 on the second night of a back-to-back. "I think it's our youth and our mindset," Scott said. "Everyone has the perception back-to-backs are so tough. I'm still trying to figure that out." ... Sanders is leading the NBA in blocked shots at 3.11 per game. He's averaging 5.3 blocks in his previous six games (before Friday).
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