Sunday , Dec , 11 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

James’ 52 can’t save Cavs against Bucks

Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) – T.J. Ford tied a career-high with 24 points
to lead five Milwaukee players in double figures, as the Bucks downed the
Cleveland Cavaliers 111-106 at the Bradley Center.

Ford also had nine assists and Michael Redd netted 23 points for the Bucks,
who have won five of their last six. Andrew Bogut chipped in a career-high 21
points for Milwaukee, which has won its last seven games against Cleveland at
home and 13 of the last 15 meetings between the clubs in Milwaukee.

“I just played more relaxed,” said Ford. “The past couple of weeks I’ve wanted
things to go well. I start off so fast and I’ve wanted to play like that all
the time. I think I was just trying too much and now I’m back in my relaxed
mode.”

Jamaal Magloire pulled down 15 rebounds with eight points in the win.

LeBron James scored a season-high 52 points for the Cavaliers, who have now
lost four of their last five games. Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 20 points and was
the only other Cleveland player in double figures.

James did become the first player in Cavs’ history to have five consecutive
games with 30 or more points.

Seven straight free throws, including three by James, pulled the Cavs to
within 92-90 with 7:13 remaining. The Bucks stayed ahead for 1 1/2 minutes
until James’ bucket with 5:06 remaining tied the contest at 98-98.

Milwaukee then scored six of the next seven points to go ahead 104-99 with
2:40 remaining in the fourth. Cleveland’s Eric Snow and Ford then exchanged
buckets before James pulled the Cavs to within three at 106-103 with 55
seconds remaining.

Bogut then put the Bucks backup by five with his putback after a Toni Kukoc
missed three-point attempt, but James countered with a three-point basket with
28 seconds left to make it 108-106.

Bobby Simmons was then fouled by James, but hit only 1-of-2 free throws to put
the Bucks up by three. Donyell Marshall then missed a three-point attempt from
the right corner and Simmons hit two free throws to seal the win.

Cleveland held a 55-52 advantage after halftime but was outscored 59-51 in the
second half.

Bogut’s basket 3:52 into the third quarter gave Milwaukee its first lead since
the opening frame and was part of a 7-0 run that put the Bucks ahead 67-63.
Cleveland came back though, and Marshall’s layup put the Cavs back up at 72-71
with 5:33 remaining.

The Bucks regained the lead just moments later and the teams stayed close for
the rest of the quarter. However, Ford’s three-pointer with 1:02 left in the
third put the Bucks up 84-82 and sparked a 10-2 run that carried into the
fourth, putting Milwaukee ahead 91-84 with 10:03 left.

An 8-0 run by the Cavs that included a pair of three-point baskets by James
gave Cleveland an 18-11 lead with 7:12 left in the first quarter, and the
Cavaliers never trailed in the first after that, holding a 32-28 edge after
one.

The Cavaliers also never trailed in the second, opening the stanza with a 14-2
run for a 46-30 lead with 7:19 remaining in the frame. However, the Bucks
responded with a 14-0 run to cut it to 46-44 with 1:57 left. Bogut’s layup
capped the spree.

“I’m proud of our team,” said Bucks head coach Terry Stotts. “They got down 16
again and got back into it by halftime and played a hell of a game.”

Game Notes

Marshall and Larry Hughes each had nine points for Cleveland…James finished
with seven rebounds and seven assists…Simmons had 16 points and Maurice
Williams chipped in 14 for Milwaukee…Cleveland shot 54.4 percent from the
floor to Milwaukee’s 45.8 percent…The Bucks outrebounded the Cavs 41-28.

CLE MIL