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News » 29-point run and done Cavs' steamroller flattens Bucks


29-point run and done Cavs' steamroller flattens Bucks


29-point run and done  Cavs' steamroller flattens Bucks By CHARLES F. GARDNER

A quick start by the Milwaukee Bucks proved a fleeting memory by the time Sunday's matinee with the Cleveland Cavaliers was over.

The Bucks opened the game with an 11-0 run, forcing a timeout by Cavaliers coach Mike Brown.

But a few minutes later, Cleveland launched a mind-boggling 29-0 run of its own to break the game open en route to an easy 101-86 victory over its Central Division rival.

If the Bucks (9-10) had been hoping to make a statement against one of the top teams in the National Basketball Association, they failed miserably.

And they flopped in front of a Bradley Center crowd of 16,625 that started the afternoon cheering and wound up booing during the Bucks' first-half scoring drought.

Reserve guard Delonte West scored the first 14 points of the second quarter as part of the Cavaliers' surge and Cleveland (15-5) went on to its fourth straight victory.

The really incredible part?

Cleveland kept the run going and going and going despite having Shaquille O'Neal on the bench for the entire length of the run and having LeBron James on the floor for just a few minutes.

The Bucks were held scoreless for an 11-minute, 25-second stretch from the 4:36 mark of the first quarter until 5:11 remained in the second period, when Carlos Delfino finally hit an 8-foot bank shot to end the drought.

The misses came in all forms, from an airball fired up by Charlie Bell to missed jumpers by Delfino and a pair of blocked shots (on Bell and Hakim Warrick) by Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

"That's a championship-caliber team," Bucks center Andrew Bogut said. "They have horses coming off the bench and they don't lose a beat.

"Delonte West comes on tonight and is one of their best players."

The Bucks sank 5 of 6 shots as they spurted to the 11-0 lead but hit just 3 of their next 28 attempts until Delfino scored to make it 39-19.

"I think a lot of the shots were pretty good shots, and it's what we drill at practice," Bogut said.

"A lot of the shots were open shots, and they weren't falling. Once (we) started missing, the crowd started getting on us a bit. We were down, and we were second-guessing ourselves after that."

The Bucks lost for the seventh time in their last eight games after surprising most observers with an 8-3 start.

Now, they have to try to get back on course, and it won't be easy as they travel to Boston to play the Celtics on Tuesday followed by a home game against improving Toronto on Wednesday.

"If you have those droughts where you're not able to score, you've got to find a way to at least hang in the game," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "Nobody was able to take the lid off for us."

Skiles didn't fault his team's effort as it tried to rebound from back-to-back road losses to Washington and Detroit.

"I thought our ball movement was pretty good," Skiles said. "We were missing threes we have been making. What we did do though, we started pump-faking, passing up shots to take other shots, and it became a little bit of a disease for just a few minutes.

"We seemed to get a little bit rattled that they were even coming back. I mean that's a great team. We're not going to blow them out of the gym or anything. We lost our heads a little bit."

West finished with a season-high 21 points and James added 14 points and 10 assists. The Cavs were so comfortable after leading by 26 points in the second quarter (47-21) that they needed to use O'Neal for only 15 minutes (10 points).

"It seems like every NBA season you have a game like that," said Bucks guard Luke Ridnour. "It's real disappointing. We needed a win coming off a tough road trip.

"They're one of the best teams in the league. It takes so much energy, and you pretty much have to play perfect to come back. We didn't do that."

Rookie point guard Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 24 points on 9-of-22 shooting and added four assists and four rebounds while playing 40 minutes.

But Bogut was held in single figures for the third straight game, finishing with seven points on 3-of-11 shooting. Delfino and Warrick each had 11 points for the Bucks .

"Of course you lose some confidence when you're not winning," Delfino said. "It's not the same confidence we had when we were 8-3.

"You have to trust yourself. We need to be smart, set the tone again and regroup. We need to work. That's the only way to come out of this."

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)


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Added: December 8, 2009

 

 
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