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Varejao, Cavs down Bucks
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Anderson Varejao led with a 16-point performance as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 93-78, at Quicken Loans Arena.
Cleveland had five scorers in double digits. Tristan Thompson had a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double and Kyrie Irving had one of his own with 10 points and 10 assists.
Dion Waiters and Jarrett Jack came off the bench to add 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the Cavs, who had dropped three of their last four games coming in.
"Good performance by our team, especially after the two losses. I thought our guys stepped up," said Cleveland head coach Mike Brown. "We were a little tired tonight but I thought our guys stepped up. We had a lot of very good individual performances that turned into a good team performance."
Khris Middleton paced the Bucks with 13 on 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 10 points as the Bucks have dropped 10 of their last 11 games.
"It was tough. We started pretty well. It's about energy and we couldn't keep up. When you play against a team like this and they build a lead, it's hard to close that lead," said Milwaukee forward Ersan Ilyasova.
Cleveland took their first lead of the game after Thompson followed up his missed floater with a put-back layup making it 12-11 halfway through the first.
Irving's step-back jumper capped off a 17-point outburst that made it 23-11 with 3:20 left in the first.
After Milwaukee's shooters went cold, going 0-for-9 during the stretch, Middleton ignited a 12-1 swing with a triple as the Bucks finished the opening quarter strong to claw back within one.
Earl Clark drove across the lane with a commanding dunk four minutes into the second and Waiters came off the bench to add 10 points in the quarter.
John Henson's slam followed by a Middleton layup pulled Milwaukee within seven, but a Thompson layup made it 46-37 in favor of Cleveland going into the break.
Varejao scored seven straight points to give Cleveland a 14-point lead with 5:30 left in the third. Thompson then slammed down an alley-oop after a nice pass from Irving and Varejao made a running hook shot to make it 64-46 with four to go in the third quarter.
Mayo and Waiters traded 3's to kick off the final quarter making it 74-58 less than two minutes in.
After Jack's two free throws extended Cleveland's lead to 20, Middleton hit a deep three, but the Cavs continued to tack on the points with a nine-point run making it 89-63 with under six to go.
Middleton made a fadeaway jumper to conclude a poorly-timed 11-2 run for Milwaukee with 13 seconds left.
Ekpe Udoh suffered a left ankle sprain with 23 seconds left in the second quarter and did not return ... Luol Deng supplied nine points and five boards for the Cavs ... Cleveland outrebounded Milwaukee 52-34.
01/25 01:53:24 ET
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