It was a fun ride for the Milwaukee Bucks while it lasted. The roller coaster stopped dead in its tracks, and the team came back down to earth. The win at home last week over the Chicago Bulls was overshadowed by two recent road losses to Washington and Detroit.
Entering the Dec. 6 home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Bucks sported a 9-9 record. They were 9-10 after the 101-86 loss at the Bradley Center. They were 7-3 before Thanksgiving week.
Milwaukee scored the first 11 points against the Cavaliers. Cleveland outscored the Bucks 21-6 to take a 21-17 first quarter advantage. Milwaukee’s last score in the quarter came at the 4 minute 36 second mark by forward Ersan Ilyasova, which was the start of a long scoreless period between the first and second quarters.
Forward Carlos Delfino scored with 5:13 left in the second quarter. It ended a scoring drought of 11:25. The Cavs had a 52-33 lead in the first half. Shooting 33 percent in the half (15-46) didn’t help the Bucks, who’s a jump shooting team. Milwaukee shot 37.6 percent (35-93) for the game.
“We’ve been living and dying by the three (point shot) anyway,” head coach Scott Skiles said after the game. “None of them went in. And when (Cleveland) was pulling away, we needed to make some plays.”
That long scoring drought allowed the Cavaliers to score 29 straight points in the second. They had a 75-57 lead after three quarters. “I got to check the archives for that,” Cleveland guard Mo Williams said.”
Williams was impressed with rookie guard Brandon Jennings, who guarded him most of the game. “He’s a young player,” Williams said. “He’s definitely getting his attempts. (Bucks) are letting him go, which is going to make him better. And I think if they’re going to hand the ball over to him, they gotta let him go.
“(Jennings) is going to make mistakes, but he’s gonna make plays, too.”
Their only road trip this week was at Boston, which they lost 98-89 Tuesday, making their record 9-11. Milwaukee’s second of three home games this week was against the Toronto Raptors Dec. 9.
Milwaukee led 29-22 at the end of the first quarter. They held a 57-45 halftime lead. The Bucks won 117-95 behind Jennings’ 22 points, one of seven players in double figures for the Bucks (10-11).