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Cavaliers 113, Bucks 108

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND - For much of the season, the Cavaliers had one of the worst home records in the NBA.

Suddenly, they are learning how to win at home.

All-Star guard Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 35 points and five rebounds in the Cavs' 113-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday at Quicken Loans Arena.

It's the Cavs' third win in a row at The Q, and first since the four-player trade with the Memphis Grizzlies last Tuesday.

The Bucks (22-19) had their three-game winning streak stopped.

The Cavs (12-32) were dominant defensively in the fourth quarter after the Bucks had led by as many as 20 points in the third.

The Cavs took their first lead of the second half on newcomer Wayne Ellington's 3-pointer with 6:31 left, 96-95. That capped a 15-5 run.

The Cavs outscored Milwaukee in the fourth quarter, 32-18.

The Cavs also got good efforts from point guard Shaun Livingston, who had a season-high 12 points and three assists in 15 action-packed minutes.

Backup center Marreese Speights, acquired this week from Memphis, added 10 points and six rebounds in his first game with the Cavs.

Bucks power forward Ersan Ilyasova had a team-high 30 points. The 6-10, 235-pounder converted 11 of 21 from the field, including 5 of 6 from the 3-point line.

Also for the Bucks, guard Monta Ellis finished with 21 points, six rebounds and nine assists. Brandon Jennings had a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 12 assists. The Bucks dished out 34 assists in the game.

Cavs power forward Tristan Thompson added 18 points and six rebounds, while guard Dion Waiters added 16 points and four assists.

The Cavs were lackluster in the third quarter, which is nothing new. That meant they were forced to play catch-up the rest of the game.

Their biggest problem was defending the 3-point line. After three quarters, they were outscored from beyond the arc, 36-9.

The Bucks held a 90-81 advantage after three quarters. They were shooting 54 percent from the field heading into the fourth quarter.

Ilyasova led all scorers with 24 points heading into the fourth quarter. He made 5 of 6 from the 3-point line in the first three quarters.

Irving heated up in the third with 16 points.

It was the Ilyasova show in the second quarter for the Bucks. He made 6 of 7 shots, including a 3-for-4 performance from behind the arc, en route to 15 of his 18 points in the first half.

He helped the Bucks score 38 points in the quarter, which matched a season high for a Cavs' opponent this season. Milwaukee opened up a nine-point edge at halftime, 59-50.

Bucks shot 65.2 percent from field in second quarter (15 of 23).

The Cavs were also red-hot in the second quarter and shot 62.5 percent from floor (15 of 24).

Neither team played very well in the first quarter. The Bucks took a 21-18 lead, despite committing six turnovers. They also shot 39 percent from the field.

They did have balanced scoring, as Luc Mbah a Moute, Ellis and John Henson each scored four points.

The Cavs committed seven turnovers and shot just 34.8 percent from the floor in the quarter, and Irving had six points and three rebounds.

NOTES: Irving said his father, Drederick, found out that his son had made the All-Star team a day early. "My dad said he found out the day before," Kyrie said. "He said he was emotional." Irving instructed his father, his agent, Jeff Wechsler, and the Cavs not to tell him who made the team. "I sat there on my couch and watched the (TNT) show," he said. ... Cavs coach Byron Scott is so happy for his prodigy. "He's a hell of a young player," Scott said. "(After we drafted him and) got him in practice, we knew we had struck gold. ... Going back to the 2008 NBA draft, Speights had convinced himself he was coming to the Cavaliers. However, the Philadelphia 76ers had other ideas. They picked the Florida product No. 16 overall. The Cavs ended up taking North Carolina State's J.J. Hickson at 19. "Cleveland was always a team I wanted to come to," Speights said. He had veto power on the trade from Memphis, but actually wanted to come to Cleveland, something that's not said very often. "No other team was that young that needed another big man," Speights said. "It was a good opportunity to come here and get some playing time." ... Irving got rid of his protective mask after wearing it for 19 games. ... Bucks fans were furious that Jennings was left off the East All-Star team. "I thought he had a pretty good shot," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "I put a lot of weight in the success of a team. Brandon is on a team that's in the playoffs. I was a little surprised." ... Since Boylan has taken over for Scott Skiles on Jan. 8, the Bucks have been on a scoring tear. "We're making more shots and moving the ball well," he said. "We're getting better quality shots."
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