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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Game 80: Cavs at Bucks

BMO Harris Bradley Center
Radio/TV: WMMS (100.7 FM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED?: You are kidding me, right?

Don't tell me the Cavs just lost to the worst team in the NBA. That makes twice this year they've lost to the woeful Bucks, who have half their team on their injury list. They are clearly gunning for the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, but, boy, they know how to put a jolt into the Cavs.

The Cavs were coming off one of their most impressive efforts of the season - a 122-100 verdict over Detroit on Wednesday. However, they played without small forward Luol Deng (back). But that shouldn't have mattered this much.

The Bucks snapped a six-game losing streak. They've won just 10 games at home. Two of those 10 wins have come at the expense of the Cavs. I figured the Cavs would finish strong. Heck, they could lose 50 games this season if they drop their last two.

The Cavs finished 14-26 on the road this year. They closed the road portion of their schedule by winning nine of their last 16 games away from The Q.

The Cavs appeared to have hit their stride. That was before they allowed 119 points to the worst team in the league. The Bucks shot 52.4 percent from the field. Their starting backcourt amassed 44 points, 24 by Brandon Knight.

It came on a night Kyrie Irving barely showed up. He started in the let's-get-everyone-involved mode. Then when he tried to turn it on in the late going, it wasn't there. He ended with 12 points and made just 4 of 12 from the field. Hopefully, he's not having difficulty getting motivated for these games.

Despite what you hear, they do mean something. The front office is still evaluating talent until the final buzzer goes off on the disappointing 2013-14 season.

Guard Dion Waiters paced the Cavs with 23 points and a career-high five steals.

Bucks power forward Jeff Adrien - all 6-7 of him - caused problems the whole night with his hustle and determination. He ended with nine points, nine rebounds and a block - I know, it doesn't seem like much - but he was very active around the paint.

After having 41 assists on Wednesday against the Pistons, the Cavs dished out just 18 assists against the Bucks. That ball movement wasn't there.

The thing that stuck in Coach Mike Brown's craw, however, was the Cavs' lack of defense. They appeared to try to outscore the Bucks instead of trying to stop them. Obviously, it wasn't enough and they blew a 14-point lead.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Boston at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Khris Middleton (6-7, 215)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Jeff Adrien (6-7, 245)
C Spencer Hawes (7-1, 245) vs. Zaza Pachulia (6-11, 245)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 225) vs. Ramon Sessions (6-3, 190)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Brandon Knight (6-3, 189)
Cavs - G/F Sergey Karasev, G Scotty Hopson, G Carrick Felix
Bucks G/F Carlos Delfino, G Nate Wolters, F Ersan Ilyasova
Bill Spooner, Ben Taylor, Josh Tiven


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