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Irving, Cavaliers outlast Bucks in OT
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyrie Irving poured in a game-high 39 points and had six assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 114-111 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Jarrett Jack netted 17 points, C.J. Miles had 15 and Earl Clark added 14 points for Cleveland, which stopped a two-game losing streak. Tristan Thompson scored 10 points and had 15 rebounds.
O.J. Mayo scored 20 points and had seven rebounds, John Henson had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Brandon Knight added 17 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists for the Bucks, who have lost five straight. Khris Middleton contributed 14 points and seven rebounds.
With his team trailing by four points in overtime, Mayo nailed a 3-pointer to bring the Bucks within one, 112-111, with 17.9 seconds left.
Irving then knocked down a pair of free throws to put Cleveland back up by three with 10.3 seconds left. Mayo missed two 3-point attempts that would have tied the game, one with 3.9 seconds left and the other as time expired.
"I would take them (shots) any time of day," Mayo said of his two late misses. "I should have made that."
The Cavaliers were paced in overtime by Irving as he made the first two buckets for Cleveland, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers. Irving hit the first a minute into overtime and the other 28 seconds later to give Cleveland a 102-98 lead.
With 2.8 seconds left in regulation, trailing by two, Irving drove to the basket but missed the layup as the defense collapsed on him. Thompson, however, was right behind him for the tip-in to tie the game with 1.8 seconds left to send it into overtime.
"Kyrie (Irving) got to the basket, down the right side of the floor, went up, missed the layup that he usually makes; acrobatic in the air, but he attacked the glass and I was able to squeeze the ball into the rim," Thompson said of his game-tying tip-in.
Milwaukee chipped away at the Cavaliers' lead throughout the fourth until a Henson reverse layup tied the game, 92-92, with 3:45 to play.
The Bucks led 12-6 4:31 into the game before an Irving layup sparked a 19-2 outburst by the Cavaliers. A Mayo layup halted the run with 1:23 left in the quarter.
The layup by Mayo began a 12-0 surge for Milwaukee to end the first quarter. Milwaukee led, 26-25, after Cleveland led by as many as 11 points before the run that closed out the quarter.
During the second quarter of action the largest lead for either team was five points, when Cleveland led twice, once at the 9:56 mark and again with 8:07 left in the half.
In the last 1:30 of the half the teams traded the final five made baskets to make the score 47-47 as they headed to the locker room.
The start to the second half was similar to the end of the first. The teams traded baskets for much of the quarter. There were five ties and three lead changes.
The largest advantage of the third quarter for either team came 2:07 into the quarter. Cleveland led by five at that time but Milwaukee took the lead during a 9-0 run, 57-55, after a Giannis Antetokounmpo 3-pointer with 7:39 to play in the third.
The teams stayed within four points of each other the rest of the quarter and went into the fourth tied, 70-70.
Cleveland will travel to Chicago to play the Bulls Saturday ... Milwaukee hosts the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday ... The Cavaliers have won five of their last six home games ... The Bucks shot 40-for-100 and the Cavaliers shot 39- for-100 from the field.
12/20 23:59:46 ET