Cleveland Cavaliers still couldn’t get a win over the Bucks
The Cleveland Cavaliers ended their winning streak at four after a third-quarter collapse against the Milwaukee Bucks to lose, 117-102. This marks a tie for the Cavs’ worst loss of the season, which also came at the hands of their division rivals on the road.
Despite commanding a 16-point advantage by the second quarter, the Cavaliers failed to compete out of the halftime break and crumbled in that pivotal third period, where the Bucks completely dominated on both ends of the floor.
Cleveland was outscored by 25 in that quarter, ushered in by a 23-2 run by Milwaukee who rallied behind 38 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and two blocked shots from superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo in the statement win.
Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs with 29 points while fellow All-Star teammate Darius Garland added 20 markers of his own, but had little scoring help from the others. Isaac Okoro, better known for his defensive chops, was the only other Cavalier in double-figures with 13.
The Cavs should learn from this blunder
Cleveland should take this loss with a grain of salt and charge it to experience. Apart from having a lack of killer instinct on offense to start the second half, the team also had a real stinker on the other end.
It doesn’t help that defensive anchor Jarrett Allen only played a total of 12 minutes and was absent in that half after being visibly limited from suffering an awkward fall early in the game. He only scored a single point to go with three boards, a block, and a steal.
Not having Lamar Stevens (illness), who helped limit Antetokounmpo with solid, physical defense in their previous meeting, was also a huge factor as the ‘Greek Freak’ went ham on the Cavs. Key backups Kevin Love (thumb) and Caris LeVert (ankle) also remained out for Cleveland.
One could see this as a true litmus test against a true championship contender, and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and the coaching staff should use it as a lesson going forward while finding a way to pick it back up on both ends of the floor even while having key guys out of rotation.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, now 12-7, still remain in solo third place in the Eastern Conference and will look to quickly bounce back on a visit to play the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, November 27.