MILWAUKEE — Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points, Jarrett Allen had 24 points and 14 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 112-100 on Friday night for their ninth win in their last 10 games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to end his string of two straight triple-doubles. Damian Lillard also scored 22 points for the Bucks.
The Cavaliers gained a measure of revenge after their eight-game winning streak had ended with a 126-116 loss at Milwaukee on Wednesday, one night after the Bucks had fired Adrian Griffin as coach.
Joe Prunty, an assistant on Griffin’s staff, worked as interim head coach for those two games. The Bucks announced in the final minute of Friday’s game that they have hired Doc Rivers as Griffin’s permanent replacement.
After trailing 104-88 with four minutes left, the Bucks cut the lead to 106-100 on Lillard’s free throws with 1:39 remaining. Caris LeVert sank a 3-pointer 23 seconds later, and the Cavs wouldn’t look back.
Cleveland took the lead for good by going on a 14-0 run in the third quarter while holding the Bucks scoreless for nearly 6 ½ minutes.
Milwaukee led 57-54 at halftime and extended the advantage to 63-57 on Khris Middleton’s follow shot with 10:51 left in the third, but the Bucks wouldn’t make another basket for nearly nine minutes. Milwaukee’s only points during that stretch came on two free throws by Lillard that gave the Bucks a 65-60 edge with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the third.
After those free throws, Milwaukee wouldn’t score again until Pat Connaughton sank a 3-pointer with 2:02 left in the third. Connaughton’s shot was one of four straight 3-pointers the Bucks would make in a 90-second span as they cut a nine-point deficit to one.
The Cavs responded with 11 straight points to grab an 89-77 advantage, and they stayed ahead the rest of the way.
Cavaliers: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.
Bucks: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA