March 24, 2019 / 11:14 PM / 6 months ago

Antetokounmpo helps Bucks cruise past Cavs

EditorsNote: drops comma, adds “and” to lead

Mar 24, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks former player Marques Johnson talks to the media during a press conference prior the retirement of his jersey at half-time of a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 26 points and 10 rebounds as the host Milwaukee Bucks posted a 127-105 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

George Hill and Khris Middleton each had 17 points, and Brook Lopez scored all 14 of his points in the first half for the Bucks, who avenged a 107-102 setback to the Cavaliers on Wednesday. Antetokounmpo sat out that contest with an ankle injury, but he made his presence felt on Sunday by shooting 11 for 16 from the floor and adding seven assists and four blocks.

Tony Snell finished with 12 points, but played sparingly after colliding with Cleveland’s Cedi Osman midway into the third quarter.

Kevin Love highlighted his 20-point performance with four 3-pointers and added 19 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who fell to 6-30 away from home. Jordan Clarkson scored 19 points, and rookie Collin Sexton added 18 in the loss.

Hill scored Milwaukee’s last five points of the third quarter and added a jumper as part of a 7-2 run to begin the fourth as the Bucks claimed a 97-79 lead. Eric Bledsoe sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around Antetokounmpo’s eighth dunk of the game to put the contest out of reach.

Clarkson’s jumper pulled Cleveland within five at 48-43 with 6:32 remaining in the second quarter before Lopez drained a 3-pointer to ignite a 16-4 surge. Middleton made a pair of short jumpers, Pat Connaughton added four points and Antetokounmpo capped the spirited 4 1/2-minute run with a spin move followed by an emphatic dunk. Milwaukee led by 13 at the break.

Antetokounmpo and Snell remained on the court to watch a halftime ceremony that saw the No. 8 jersey of Marques Johnson retired and raised to the rafters at Fiserv Forum. Johnson, who played seven seasons (1977-84) with the Bucks, was the ninth player in franchise history to have his number retired.

Perhaps inspired by the ceremony, Antetokounmpo was quick out of the blocks in the third quarter as he made a dunk and a hook shot to push Milwaukee’s lead to 72-60.

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