Nice win last night, as Cleveland never trailed and cruised to a double-digit road win. The puzzle pieces fit for a night, and the team enters Christmas on a win streak. Everyone can go home, ice their aching joints, and celebrate with loved-ones under the glow of victory.
I will cover this through some bullets:
- Last night featured the perfect Tristan-game. Six of eight field goals, four of them assisted, and one a put-back; the offense found him opportunities and he finished them. At the other end, he snagged twelve defensive rebounds, and despite what the box score says, I swear he blocked more than one shot. He certainly impacted several others. Overall, a really nice two game stretch for the young big man.
- Dion Waiters continued his aggressive play from Friday, taking seven shots at the rim and making five. His jumpers were also falling on the way to 18 relatively efficient points. His two assists netted Tyler and Tristan bunnies, including a beauteous wrap-around look for Thompson’s dunk. Did the official score keeper have a grudge against Cleveland? I really thought that Waiters tossed more than two dimes.
- The refs also seemed to prefer Milwaukee. Despite Dion’s continuous forays to the basket, he shot zero free throws. A series of questionable block / charge calls went Milwaukee’s way. Cleveland shot 45 times inside of nine feet, compared to 34 for the Bucks, who still received seven more freebie attempts.
- Kyrie took a back-seat, but tallied 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and only 2 turnovers on 58% true shooting. He hit an absolutely huge buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter; Milwaukee was in the midst of a 16 to 4 run and the game appeared ready to unravel before Kyrie’s momentum shifter.
- Tonight featured a welcome return for Jeremy Pargo. After sitting six straight games, his attacking style primed a ten-to-nothing run to start the second quarter. Milwaukee never came within six again.
- Luke Walton played his best game as a Cav: seven points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. His three points and three assists, along with Pargo’s play, fueled the 18-to-6 run that opened things up. Two months ago, I would have assumed that it involved one-million monkeys sitting at one-million type writers to generate that sentence. In the second half, he looked a little more like 2012 Luke Walton, but very nice early run.
- C.J. Miles scored sixteen to perpetuate a streak of ten double-digit games in his last eleven.
- Milwaukee flexes the league’s fourth-worst offense, but Cleveland’s fourth-worst defense held them in check. Stoppable force meets movable object? Put this one in the win category for the latter. The Cavs only allowed Monta Ellis into double digits. Ellis, by the way, was unstoppable. Waiters, Gee and Gibson had no answer; Ellis scored on pick-and-rolls, in transition, and he canned a couple threes for good measure. Other than Ellis’s 37 points, Milwaukee’s True Shooting ended at 38%.