The second game of a back-to-back can be a sneaky killer, especially to such an impressive streak like the Bucks are on. Luckily for Milwaukee, the Cleveland Cavaliers came to town and didn’t put up much of a fight, extending the win streak to 18 games, two behind the franchise record.
The first quarter and a half or so was close mostly because the Bucks couldn’t get a shot from deep to fall no matter who shot it. Still, the defense was solid and didn’t let the Cavs go up by more than a couple without answering back. That’s been the way games have gone for the past 36 days for Milwaukee and it’s resulted in the best record in the NBA.
A much better shooting performance in the second and third quarter pushed the game out of reach for Cleveland and the Bucks didn’t have to use much manpower in the final 12 minutes. All of this without their starting point guard Eric Bledsoe, who was replaced in the starting lineup by Donte DiVincenzo.
Giannis did his usual routine where he plays mid-20s minutes and dominates in his time on the court. He played just 24 minutes yet had 29/4/4 on 12-20 shooting with a pair of threes. His sidekick, Khris Middleton, has been playing at an exceptional level as well the last week or so. He continued his hot shooting with 24 points on 8-12 from the field and 3-4 from deep.
Donte, Robin Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova, and George Hill combined for 53 points on 20-31 shooting to compliment their All-Stars and that was far too much for the young Cavs team to handle. Thirteen Cavaliers saw the floor yet not one scored more than 15 points. If you don’t have an offensive leader against Milwaukee’s defense, you’re going to struggle 10 times out of 10.
The Bucks fairly easily extended their second longest win streak in franchise history to 18 games and will go for 19 on Monday against the Dallas Mavericks, who seem to have lost MVP candidate Luka Doncic to a minor ankle injury at least for their matchup with in Milwaukee. Doncic went down early in their game against the Miami Heat tonight. Even without Luka, the Mavs took the Heat to overtime and only lost by three points with a missed three at the buzzer to tie.
Additionally, via @BucksPR, Eric Bledsoe will miss roughly two weeks with a right fibula avulsion fracture. This means he will miss the most anticipated game in the NBA so far this season on Thursday when the Bucks take on the Lakers.
Monday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks is set to tip off at 7:00 p.m. CT.