MILWAUKEE -- Guard O.J. Mayo scored a season-best 28 points as the Milwaukee Bucks held off the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-104 on Wednesday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Mayo shot 9-of-16 from the field and made six-of-seven 3-point attempts. Guard Gary Neal came off the bench to score 23 points while center Zaza Pachulia and forward John Henson had 14 and forward Caron Butler added 10 as Milwaukee (2-2) shot 50 percent from the field and 13-for-23 from behind the arc while making 24 of 26 free throws.
Despite their best offensive effort of the season, the Bucks had to withstand a furious Cleveland comeback over the final five minutes.
With Milwaukee ahead by 13, guard Kyrie Irving scored on a layup and converted the free-throw for a three-point play to make it 98-88 with 4:56 left. The Bucks went back up by 12 but Irving hit a 3-pointer and long jumper on back-to-back possessions, cutting the lead to 103-96.
After a Bucks turnover, Irving went to the line and hit two more free throws and followed Neal's missed jumper with another three-pointer before C.J. Miles put Cleveland ahead on a 3-pointer with 1 minute on the clock.
Butler finally ended Milwaukee's scoring drought with 24 second left and after Irving lost the ball out-of-bounds, Mayo hit a pair of free throws to put the Bucks ahead by three with 13 second to play.
Irving scored 13 of his 29 points in the final quarter, finishing the day 10-of-20 from the field 4-of-6 on 3-point attempts. He was one of four Cavaliers (2-3) to score in double figures, joined by 21 points from Waiters, Miles' 14 and a 12-point effort by center Anderson Varejao.
NOTES: Milwaukee center Larry Sanders reportedly was involved in an incident late Saturday night at a Milwaukee nightclub. The team said Sanders was cooperating with authorities. He did not play Wednesday due to a thumb injury, according to coach Larry Drew. ... Cleveland assistant coach Jim Boylan returned to Milwaukee, where he led the Bucks to a 22-28 record after replacing coach Scott Skiles last January. ... Former Bucks guard Michael Redd announced his retirement between the first and second quarters. A second-round draft pick in 2000, Redd played 11 of his 12 seasons in Milwaukee and remains among the franchise's best in several offensive categories. Redd also won an Olympic gold medal in 2008. ... Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving scored at least 26 points in five of his first six games against the Bucks.