The Milwaukee Bucks picked up their first victory of the preseason as they knocked off Cleveland, 110-101, Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena as LeBron James and all four of the Cavaliers' projected starters sat out.
Bucks center Greg Monroe went off for a game-high 19 points to go with 13 rebounds and two steals as rookie Rashad Vaughn also chipped in with 19, going 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. Off the bench, John Henson made a substantial impact, adding 16 points and pulling down 10 boards.
James was sent home due to illness by head coach David Blatt one night after playing 26 minutes against Memphis. Center Timofey Mozgov and Iman Shumpert got the night off while Kevin Love (shoulder), J.R. Smith (hamstring) and Kyrie Irving (knee) are out due to injuries. As for Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo did not play as forward Damien Inglis started in his place.
Mo Williams scored 18 and Richard Jefferson had 16 for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers got off to a hot start as they opened the game on a 9-0 run, and after the Bucks scored a few points, they extended their lead to 19-8 following a Matthew Dellavedova jumper. Later in the quarter, Milwaukee reeled off seven points to get within three, 22-19, but Cleveland responded with back-to-back threes en route to a 31-23 advantage after the first period.
In the second quarter, the Bucks went on an 8-3 run to close the gap again, but the Cavs answered as Dellavedova hit his second three pointer and James Jones hit a pair of three point field goals to make it 47-35. Henson relieved Monroe with three minutes remaining and quickly made his presence felt as he scored six points and brought down four rebounds as the half ended with Cleveland holding on to a 51-45 halftime lead.
Dellavedova was the top scorer for Cleveland with 10 points but Henson was mightily impressive for Milwaukee as he scored 10 points and had nine boards to go with two blocks in just 11 minutes.
It was déjà vu in the early moments of the second half as the Cavaliers ran out to a 61-47 lead, but after each team added 10 more points to their respective scores, it was the Bucks who caught on fire. Led by Jerryd Bayless' nine points, Milwaukee ended the third on an 18-7 run, resulting in just a three-point deficit, 78-75.
In the final period, a three-pointer from O.J. Mayo gave the Bucks their first lead at 80-78, and while Williams tried to keep the Cavs in it with a three and a jumper, Vaughn’s three put the Bucks in front for good at 85-83. Milwaukee outscored Cleveland, 25-18, the rest of the way to cruise to a 110-101 victory.
With the victory here tonight, Milwaukee is now 1-2 in the preseason whereas the Cavs are 0-4 and still looking for their first preseason victory.
Milwaukee hosts Washington on Saturday while Cleveland plays Indiana on Thursday.