Still fighting for a postseason berth in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks will hit the road tonight to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
Milwaukee is 2 1/2 games behind New York for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East and is coming off Tuesday's 108-101 victory versus the Atlanta Hawks at the Bradley Center. Monta Ellis scored 17 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter and Brandon Jennings tallied 18 points for the Bucks, who had lost two straight and three of four games.
Drew Gooden added 16 points and Mike Dunleavy netted 13 in the win.
"We had almost 30 assists tonight and if we share the ball and shoot 50 percent from the field, we're going to be a tough team to beat," Gooden said.
The Bucks won for the eighth time in 11 tries and will try to work on their 11-16 record away from Brew City. Ekpe Udoh made his first start for Milwaukee and finished with a career-high-tying 10 rebounds to go along with eight points and three blocks. Milwaukee improved to 19-5 when scoring 100 points.
Cleveland will try to throw a wrench in Milwaukee's plans for a playoff spot when it closes out a quick two-game homestand Friday.
The Cavaliers have lost five straight and eight of nine games, including Wednesday's 87-75 setback versus the Detroit Pistons. Rookie of the Year candidate Kyrie Irving scored 22 points to go along with nine boards and six assists, while Antawn Jamison added 17 points for the Cavaliers, who have lost four straight as the host.
"Our defense could have been a little bit better but overall I thought we played some good ball," said Cleveland head coach Byron Scott. "We just couldn't make a shot tonight to save our lives."
Cleveland is 9-16 in the Forest City this season. Irving is averaging a rookie-best 18.7 ppg and Jamison owns averages of 19.1 points and 6.6 rebounds since March 3 (14 games). If Irving finishes the season averaging at least 18.0 points and 5.0 assists per game, he will join Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and LeBron James as the only No. 1 overall draft picks to average those numbers.
The Cavs have lost the first two meetings with Milwaukee this season and five in a row overall in this series. Milwaukee, though, is only 3-14 in its last 17 trips to Quicken Loans Arena.