After a rather weak schedule over the last month or so of the season, the Cavs matched up with an impressive Milwaukee Bucks team on Wednesday night.
They were a little rusty and, quite frankly, looked like they hadn’t played against much competition for a while. They contributed another poor effort at the line and coughed up the ball on twelve separate occasions. But they were solid defensively, hit free throws when they counted and knocked down some tough shots in the fourth quarter to sneak by with a 101-98 victory.
Yes, LeBron James was incredible again as the young King torched the Bucks for 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. He stepped his game up in the last few minutes of the game, coming up with nine points during a three minute stretch. However, he accounted for four of Cleveland’s sixteen missed free throws. Mo Williams contributed a very solid effort and really knocked down some clutch free throws for the Cavs. Mo accounted for 21 points and six assists, including the game winning dribble drive and dish to LeBron, to give Cleveland the upper hand. Now hopefully he can build on that effort and regain some momentum heading into the playoffs. Antawn Jamison doubled-up and went for 12 points-12 rebounds in the winning effort while JJ Hickson added 14 points and six boards.
The bench isn’t quite the same without Anderson Varejao but Delonte West played a great all around game for Mike Brown. He came up with a big bucket in the fourth quarter to put an end to a 6:00 scoring drought for the Cavs and contributed 12 points, six assists and four rebounds to lead the bench. In his second game back in Wine & Gold, Zydrunas Ilgauskas added seven points and five rebounds while Jawad Williams added a seven point effort. Leon Powe, who only tallied 6:36 in the game, was the only member of the Cleveland bench to notch a positive efficiency rating as Mo led the way with a +17.
And I would like to point out that Brandon Jennings (the same Jennings that held up a gooseye after he torched the LeBron-less Cavs last outing) was limited to just five points and was almost invisible for most of the night. And surprisingly enough, he wasn’t running his mouth. Funny how that works.
Not the best game we’ve seen this season but it was a good test for the Cavs as we approach the home stretch. The Cavs have quite the schedule coming up and should be prepped and ready to go come playoff time. They’ll be up against a tough Atlanta Hawks team on Friday night to be aired on ESPN.