NBA: Cavaliers rout resting Bucks, secure No. 8 seed
Kevin Love came off the bench to score a game-high 32 points and pull down 10 rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 133-115 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday in the regular-season finale.
The No. 8 Cavs will travel to No. 7 Brooklyn on Tuesday for an Eastern Conference play-in game. The Nets trimmed visiting Cleveland on Friday 118-107.
Milwaukee (51-31) finished third after the Boston Celtics beat the Memphis Grizzlies 139-110 on Sunday night. The Celtics grabbed the second seed.
Love was a sizzling 8 of 11 from the 3-point line in his 15 minutes for Cleveland, which shot 19 of 38 from behind the arc.
Kevin Love drops 32 points, 10 boards and ties his career high with 8 triples…IN JUST 15 MINUTES OF PLAY as the @cavs clinch #8 in the East!#MetaQuestPlayIn ⤵️
CLE/BKN, Tuesday at 7pm/et, TNT pic.twitter.com/rBD1ylU4bn
— NBA (@NBA) April 10, 2022
Lauri Markkanen fired in 23 points for the Cavs (44-38), while Rookie of the Year candidate Evan Mobley contributed 18 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks and Rajon Rondo dished out a game-high 13 assists.
Sandro Mamukelashvili paced Milwaukee with 28 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, while Thanasis Antetokounmpo had a career-high 27 points and Jordan Nwora added 24 points.
"I like our chances when it comes down to a dogfight, and that's what it's gonna be Tuesday night."@kevinlove believes the @cavs' camaraderie can work to their advantage in Brooklyn.#LetEmKnow pic.twitter.com/K217vGodBU
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) April 10, 2022ADVERTISEMENT
The game appeared to be completely over after three quarters, with Cleveland up 111-79, but the Bucks rallied in the fourth. Milwaukee went on a 16-0 run, which forced Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff to put in some of his starters to close it out. The Bucks outscored the Cavs 36-22 in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland led by 33 points at halftime, 79-46.
Rayjon Tucker had 10 points in the first half for the Bucks, while Lindell Wigginton and Antetokounmpo each added nine points.
Love had 23 points and eight rebounds in the first half for the Cavs.
Cleveland scored the first 14 points and 19 of the first 22 in the game. The Cavs connected on 10 3-pointers in the first quarter to storm out to 46-20 lead. Love had five 3-pointers en route to an 18-point effort in the opening quarter.
The 46 points tied the Cavs’ franchise record for points in a quarter.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer pulled the plug on the competitive nature of the game when he decided to rest eight players, including Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee), Brook Lopez (back), Khris Middleton (wrist), Bobby Portis (shoulder), Serge Ibaka (illness), Grayson Allen (hip), George Hill (abdominal strain) and Luca Vildoza (coach’s decision). Jrue Holiday started the game and left after the opening tip.
The Cavs are still playing without All-Star center Jarrett Allen (finger). They hope to have him back for their play-in game.
NBA: Kevin Durant helps Nets power past Cavaliers
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.