Ellis leads Bucks past Cavaliers 90-86

  • Associated Press
  • December 14, 2012 - 9:11 PM

CLEVELAND - Monta Ellis scored a season-high 33 points, Brandon Jennings added 16 and the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 90-86 on Friday night.

The win gave Milwaukee a season-high four-game winning streak and was the Bucks' ninth straight victory over the Cavaliers.

Kyrie Irving scored 26 points to lead Cleveland, which committed a season-high 27 turnovers. The Cavaliers have lost seven of eight and 11 of 13.

Ellis, who scored 20 points in the second half, was 12 for 24 from the field.

Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao, the league's leading rebounder, left the game in the first half after sustaining a contusion to his lower left leg. X-rays taken at halftime were negative and Varejao came back in the game early in the third quarter. He had eight points and 18 rebounds.

Ellis was at his best late. The Bucks led 80-78 with 5:26 to play after C.J. Miles hit a 3-pointer. Ellis scored on a layup, hit two free throws and made a jumper to stretch the lead to 86-80 with 2:41 remaining.

Milwaukee never trailed in the first half and built a 16-point lead in the second quarter. The Bucks led 52-43 at halftime, but Irving scored nine points in the first 4 minutes of the third quarter to help the Cavaliers rally. Miles hit two free throws with 6:30 remaining in the third quarter to put Cleveland ahead 57-56, the Cavaliers' first lead of the game.

Milwaukee quickly regained the lead behind Ellis, who scored 10 points in the final 6 minutes of the quarter.

Centers Larry Sanders (sinus infection) and Ekpe Udoh (sprained left wrist), who both missed Wednesday's game against Sacramento, returned for Milwaukee. Sanders had 10 points and 10 rebounds while Ersan Ilyasova had 11 points.

Miles scored 17 points for Cleveland, which has lost 17 of 20. The Cavaliers broke a five-game losing streak by beating the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, but have dropped their last two. Cleveland plays at New York, which has the best record in the Eastern Conference, on Saturday.

A moment of silence was observed before the game for the victims of the shooting incident at an elementary school in Newton, Conn.

Irving was knocked to the court on a hard foul while going to the basket in the first quarter. He drove down the lane and was defended by Luc Mbah a Moute and Sanders. Mbah a Moute was called for the foul, but it was a hit from Sanders that knocked Irving to the court, where he landed on the left side of his face. He was down for a couple of minutes, but got to his feet and took the free throws, making both.

Irving was removed at the end of the quarter and sat on the bench with a towel on his face.

NOTES: Rookie G Doron Lamb, who has had the flu, arrived in Cleveland on a 4 p.m. flight and played 6 scoreless minutes in the first half. ... G Beno Udrih (sprained right ankle), F Tobias Harris (lacerated right elbow) and G Mike Dunleavy (bruised left knee) all remained in Milwaukee. ... Cleveland G Dion Waiters (sprained left ankle) missed his seventh straight game. Coach Byron Scott said Waiters won't play Saturday against New York, but is expected to return Tuesday when Cleveland hosts Toronto. ... F Omri Casspi missed his second straight game with the stomach flu.

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