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CLEVELAND – Kevin Love, picking up the offensive slack with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving out, scored 25 points and Dion Waiters added 23, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 106-100 exhibition win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
Love made five 3-pointers and also shook off banging his right knee while making a basket in the lane during the third quarter. He and Waiters spent the fourth quarter on the bench.
Bucks rookie Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, scored 18 in 27 minutes. He and some of Milwaukee's other starters played into the fourth quarter as first-year coach Jason Kidd worked on some things with his young team.
James is fine, but Cavs coach David Blatt wanted to give the superstar a night off as Cleveland began a stretch of three games in four nights. James is expected to play Wednesday night in Cincinnati against the Indiana Pacers.
Irving rolled his ankle last week in practice before the Cavs went to Brazil, and Blatt would prefer his All-Star guard gets through a full practice before returning to the floor. The Cavs also were without starting center Tristan Thompson, who has a sore shoulder.
Wearing warmups, James didn't join his teammates on the bench until midway through the second quarter. By then, Love had 15 points.
In the fourth quarter, an animated James left his chair and was on the floor cheering as Cleveland's reserves held off Milwaukee's rally.