NBA: Bucks cruise past Cavs to win 18th straight

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Dec 15 2019 01:20 PM

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 14, 2019 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gary Dineen, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP.

The Milwaukee Bucks continued their franchise-best start and pulled within two games of matching their all-time longest winning streak on Saturday, routing the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers 125-108.

Milwaukee faced little resistance from a struggling Cleveland bunch. The Bucks jumped to an 18-point halftime lead and expanded the gap to as many as 28 points in the third quarter on the way to their 18th straight win.

The Bucks' 24-3 start is the best in the 52-year history of the organization. 

To match the 20-game winning streak of the Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-led 1970-71 Bucks, this 2019-20 squad will have to beat two of the hottest teams in the Western Conference, the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, next week.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points, and Khris Middleton added 24 points, leading six Bucks scoring in double-figures. Donte DiVincenzo made the start at point guard and recorded 15 points with five rebounds and four assists.

Robin Lopez notched 16 points with a team-high six rebounds, while George Hill and Ersan Ilyasova both chipped in 11 points.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer gave the bench plenty of minutes, limiting reigning Most Valuable Player Antetokounmpo to 24 minutes. Antetokounmpo sat out Milwaukee's win over New Orleans on Wednesday to rest a sore quadriceps muscle.

Despite playing below almost seven minutes his season-long average, Antetokounmpo recorded his 11th consecutive game with at least 24 points and a field-goal shooting percentage above 50 percent.

Sputtering Cleveland dropped its 15th game over the last 17, a skid dating back to Nov. 12. Kevin Porter Jr. led the Cavaliers scoring 15 points off the bench. Jordan Clarkson added 13 points also in a reverse role.

Cleveland got just 50 points from its starting five, led by Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love each with 12 points. Love added 10 rebounds for a double-double.

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