MILWAUKEE (AP) -- As much as the Milwaukee Bucks have struggled
throughout this season, it's been a different story against
visitors from the Central Division.
Michael Redd scored 32 points and Joe Smith tied his season high
with 21 points and added 15 rebounds as the Bucks weathered 34
points from LeBron James and defeated the Cavaliers 96-88 Wednesday
night, extending Cleveland's road losing streak to eight games.
Desmond Mason added 13 points and Mo Williams had 12 points and
10 assists, helping the Bucks remain perfect against Central
Division opponents at home with their seventh straight victory.
The energetic victory came after the Bucks' worst loss of the
season, a 110-71 defeat at Eastern Conference-leading Miami on
"You just get tired of losing," Redd said. "We were
determined to come out and play well tonight for our home crowd,
give them a good show and play hard."
Against the Heat, the Bucks shot 32 percent while losing for the
eighth time in their last 10 road games.
"If we just go on the road and play the way we play here at
home -- unselfish, play the game the right way -- then I don't see
why we couldn't do it on the road as well," Smith said.
James scored more than 30 points for the third straight game,
Drew Gooden added 14, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 13 and 14
rebounds. But it wasn't enough for the Cavaliers, who haven't won
on the road since a 105-87 victory at Golden State on Jan. 22.
Cleveland plays four of its next six games away from home.
Cleveland shot 42 percent (37-88) while the Bucks were 33-of-72
for 49 percent.
The loss snapped the Cavaliers' three-game winning streak and
prevented them from matching its win total from last season -- 35
"We didn't start out with any fire," Cavaliers coach Paul
Silas said. "We didn't have any passion to start the game and it
just built on itself."
James did his part, though.
He was 13-of-26 from the floor and had seven rebounds in 45
minutes. He had 71 points in the team's previous two wins. Tuesday
night, he shot 11-of-15 and hit 12 of 16 free throws for 36 points
in 34 minutes of the 92-73 victory over Utah. Sunday, he had 35
points in a 98-86 defeat of Indiana.
The Bucks, who never trailed, stayed in control throughout the
Mason hit a baseline jumper for an 82-64 lead early in the
quarter. The Cavaliers never got closer than eight points after
James' 3-pointer with 6:05 left capped a 14-4 run.
After leading 48-43 at the half, the Bucks used a 14-0 run
sparked by Redd's eight points for a 71-55 lead with 1:19 left in
the third quarter. James had just a basket and two free throws and
appeared frustrated by the officiating and at his bench, scowling
toward it often.
Silas got on the refs, too. He marched out to halfcourt to argue
with referee Greg Willard about a no call as the quarter ended with
the Bucks ahead 73-59.
The Cavaliers were called for three technicals in the game, one
each on Ilgauskas, McInnis and Ira Newble.
James took a calmer approach after the game.
"It's not frustration," he said. "We just came off a
three-game winning streak. This is just one game, a minor setback
Redd had seven points in a 17-2 run that bridged the first and
second quarters as Milwaukee led 40-22 with 8:26 left in the
second. After that, James led Cleveland back with a dunk, a jumper,
two 3s and a free throw during a 20-2 burst that tied it at 42.
During Cleveland's surge, the Bucks went seven minutes and 30
seconds without a basket.
Silas apologized before the game for a derogatory comment he
made about Utah forward Carlos Boozer following practice earlier
Silas made the remark to reporters Monday, one day before Boozer
was due to make his long-awaited return to Gund Arena after leaving
the Cavaliers as a free agent last summer. Boozer, though, didn't
travel with the Jazz because of a foot injury.
"It was totally inappropriate," Silas said. "It shouldn't
have happened. I apologize for it."
The Bucks did not make a substitution the first quarter and
led 29-20 after one. Cleveland's only sub was C/F Anderson Varejao.
... Ilgauskas needed five stitches in his chin at halftime. He was
injured during the first quarter.