MILWAUKEE – Drew Gooden had his first career triple-double and John Salmons scored 32 points as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-101 on Saturday.
Gooden had 15 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists for the Bucks, hitting double-digits in all three stat categories in the middle of the third quarter.
Baron Davis scored 19 points and Ramon Sessions added 15 for the Cavaliers in a matchup between two teams that have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Although the game certainly didn't mean anything in terms of the playoffs, Gooden showed the Milwaukee Bucks what he can do when he's healthy.
Gooden, who missed a large chunk of the season because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, got the start at center after the Bucks lost Andrew Bogut, who will have surgery on his sore right elbow on Tuesday. Another of Milwaukee's options at center, Jon Brockman, also is out injured.
Gooden completed the triple-double with 5:06 left in the third quarter, corralling a miss for his 10th rebound. Gooden earlier got his 10th assist on a driving layup by Salmons with 6:48 left in the third, then hit the 10-point mark with a 19-foot jumper on the Bucks' next possession.
Gooden had eight points, eight rebounds and seven assists at halftime.
The Bucks were in control for most of the game, but the Cavaliers cut the lead to 89-87 on a floating jumper by Sessions with just over 7 minutes remaining. Salmons hit a jumper for Milwaukee, and Michael Redd hit a 3-pointer, putting the Bucks up 94-87 with 6:18 left.
Later, a dunk by Cleveland's Ryan Hollins cut Milwaukee's lead to 99-95 with 1:25 left, but Salmons answered with a turnaround, bank-in jumper. Daniel Gibson converted a three-point play for Cleveland, but Brandon Jennings hit a 3-pointer with 45.4 seconds left and Cleveland couldn't put together a rally.
The Bucks got off to a fast start thanks to Salmons, who shot 6 for 6 from the floor and scored 13 points as the Bucks took a 30-18 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Salmons didn't miss until the third quarter — although he didn't put up a single shot in the second — and ended the game 14 for 18.
NOTES: Bogut will have arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to remove loose particles and scar tissue in his right elbow. The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews. ... Bucks coach Scott Skiles also said Brockman will miss the remainder of the season with a separated shoulder. ... Cleveland's Anthony Parker left the game with back spasms and did not return.