Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 1/25/13
Four steps forward, one giant step back. Each time the Milwaukee Bucks have gone four games over .500 this season, a team with a losing record has awaited on the schedule, presenting them with a tremendous opportunity to go five games over for the first time since 2010. After a 113-108 loss Friday night to a Cleveland team that entered the game with an 11-32 record, Milwaukee has now suffered three bad losses immediately after reaching four games over. 500. Friday's loss hurt the most. Leading, 79-59, in the third quarter, the Bucks were playing one of their best stretches of basketball of the season. Moving the ball beautifully and knocking down open jump shots, Milwaukee was on its way to an easy but important victory. Then the wheels fell off and the Bucks started leaking oil while the Cavaliers began to look like a team far superior to their record. Though Milwaukee was not good on the defensive end after the first quarter, the Bucks built their big lead because their three-pointers were falling a season-high 14 - and turnovers were limited. "Second, third, fourth quarters we gave them 30-plus points," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "If you are going to do that, you are playing with fire. That's what we talked about at halftime. We needed to tighten up our defense." It never happened. Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving almost single-handedly brought Cleveland to within nine by the end of the third quarter, shaving 11 points off Milwaukee's lead in the final 6:11 of the period. But when Cleveland eventually took the lead in the fourth quarter, Irving and his fellow starters were on the bench. Newly acquired center Marreese Speights, former Bucks guard Shaun Livingston and the Cavaliers bench whipped the Bucks for most of the fourth quarter. And with Milwaukee having little threat of an inside game, its chances of preventing a crushing loss died as the jump shots fell short and turnovers led to easy transition baskets on the other end. "I told the guys during a timeout that we are going to fight for it," Boylan said. "If we wanted it, we were going to have to really, really fight for it. We tried. We had some opportunities and it didn't go in for us. A couple bounced around the rim. "You live by the jump shot, you die by the jump shot. It was a little bit of a struggle making them in the fourth." If the Bucks want to become anything more than an average basketball team this season, they are going to have to figure out a way to take care of business against teams like Cleveland especially when they enter the matchup riding a wave of momentum. Milwaukee has now lost a combined four games to Cleveland, Charlotte and New Orleans three of the NBA's four worst teams. Be it mindset, mental approach or effort in games against inferior opponents, the Bucks have to figure out what's ailing them. If they don't, there will be no serious momentum gained and the season will continue to be small steps forward before a giant step back. Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin


Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker