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Bledsoe has 20 points, 12 boards and Bucks beat Cavs 108-92

MILWAUKEE (AP) It may not mean much in the standings by the end of the season, but a 16-point win over the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday may be a sign of the Milwaukee Bucks' transformation into a contender.

The Bucks had beaten the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors on the road the night before for a signature victory. Giannis Antetokounmpo was a last-minute scratch on Monday with neck soreness. The 20-loss Cavaliers were in town.

Milwaukee had lost to the similarly struggling Suns and Knicks earlier this season, signaling a propensity to lose focus against lower-division foes.

No such problem against the Cavs.

Eric Bledsoe had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks shot 52 percent from 3-point range in the first half of a 108-92 win to put the game out of reach early.

''We're just trying to build something special. We had a good win in Toronto and we just wanted to capitalize on that tonight,'' Bledsoe said.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while Sterling Brown had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks.

Leading by 18 points at the half and by as much as 26 in the third quarter, the Bucks hardly needed Antetokounmpo.

''I do think sometimes, one of your leaders is out, and some of the other guys maybe bring their focus into a better place,'' coach Mike Budenholzer said. ''For the most part, I thought guys didn't try to do too much to replace him.''

Cleveland's Tristan Thompson had 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and added six rebounds, but left in the third quarter with a left foot injury. Jaron Blossomgame had 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Larry Nance Jr. scored a team-high 16 points.

The Cavaliers did manage to cut the deficit in half, to 13, with 5:40 left and the Bucks playing mostly backups. It was close enough that Budenholzer put most of his starters back in the game until the closing minutes.

Otherwise, the game was decided in the first half, when the Bucks - one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the league - hit 11 of 21 from beyond the arc. Bledsoe was 4 of 5 from 3-point territory, with all his attempts before halftime.

''I'm not going to get down on them and I'm not going to let them get down on themselves when they don't play well,'' Cavs coach Larry Drew said. ''We just have to learn how to get through it.''

TIP INS

Cavaliers: G Matthew Dellavedova scored 11 points in 16 minutes in making his debut in his second stint with Cleveland. A fan favorite in Cleveland, Dellavedova was acquired from the Bucks on Friday in a three-team deal that sent George Hill to Milwaukee. He played sporadic minutes this season for the Bucks. He received an ovation when he entered the game.

Bucks: Hill scored two points in 13 minutes in making his Bucks debut, often matched up defensively against Dellavedova. C Jason Smith, who was acquired from the Wizards in the same deal, went scoreless in four minutes in his first game with Milwaukee. ... G Pat Connaughton was inactive.

BENCH SPARK

Brown came off the bench to provide a spark in the first half, hustling all over the court to grab boards and defend. His transition dunk after a turnover with 2:08 left in the second quarter gave Milwaukee a 57-36 lead.

PAINT JOB

The Cavs had a tough enough time in the paint when the 6-foot-10 Thompson was in the game. They were outscored 50-40 in the lane and outrebounded 58-46, even with the high-flying Antetokounmpo out.

Thompson said his foot was a little swollen.

''They didn't chop my foot off. I'll be fine,'' he said.

FROM THE ARC

The Bucks finished 15 of 36 (42 percent) from 3-point range for the night after going 4 of 15 in the second half.

''Things we talked about doing against this team, we did not do a good job with in the first half,'' Drew said.

ON GIANNIS

''Hopefully it's just a short thing and we'll see how it feels tomorrow and going into the game on Wednesday.'' - Budenholzer on Antetokounmpo.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Host the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

Bucks: Visit Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

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Key Players
T. Thompson
13 C
K. Middleton
22 SF
30.8 Min. Per Game 30.8
17.8 Pts. Per Game 17.8
3.9 Ast. Per Game 3.9
5.8 Reb. Per Game 5.8
55.1 Field Goal % 42.9
54.2 Three Point % 43.4
61.2 Free Throw % 86.4
+ 2 Larry Nance Jr. made dunk, assist by Jaron Blossomgame 0:21
  Tony Snell missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:27
  Defensive rebound by Jason Smith 0:40
+ 2 D.J. Wilson made jump shot, assist by Donte DiVincenzo 0:52
  Out of bounds turnover on Alec Burks 1:15
+ 2 Eric Bledsoe made finger-roll layup 1:24
  Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova 1:29
  Collin Sexton missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:32
+ 2 Sterling Brown made layup, assist by Khris Middleton 1:41
+ 1 Collin Sexton made 2nd of 2 free throws 1:57
  CLE team rebound 1:57
Team Stats
Points 92 108
Field Goals 36-96 (37.5%) 42-96 (43.8%)
3-Pointers 10-30 (33.3%) 15-36 (41.7%)
Free Throws 10-15 (66.7%) 9-11 (81.8%)
Total Rebounds 56 65
Offensive 8 12
Defensive 38 46
Team 10 7
Assists 24 22
Steals 5 4
Blocks 2 4
Turnovers 9 14
Fouls 15 24
Technicals 0 0
16 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST
20 PTS, 12 REB, 5 AST
1234T
away team logo Cavaliers 6-21 1823252692
home team logo Bucks 18-8 31282524108
Team Stats
away team logo Cavaliers 6-21 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Bucks 18-8 112.8 PPG 51.9 RPG 25.0 APG
Key Players
L. Nance Jr. PF PPG RPG APG FG%
E. Bledsoe PG 13.7 PPG 3.7 RPG 4.3 APG 41.1 FG%
Top Scorers
L. Nance Jr. PF 16 PTS 7 REB 2 AST
E. Bledsoe PG 20 PTS 12 REB 5 AST
37.5 FG% 43.8
33.3 3PT FG% 41.7
66.7 FT% 81.8
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
C. Sexton 15 4 2 5/18 2/3 3/4 4 32 0 0 2 1 3 -13 21
T. Thompson 12 6 0 6/7 0/0 0/0 0 17 1 0 0 3 3 -10 19
C. Osman 8 5 6 3/13 1/5 1/2 3 30 0 0 0 0 5 -13 25
A. Burks 3 1 3 1/8 1/3 0/0 1 29 1 0 1 0 1 -13 10
R. Hood 3 4 2 1/7 1/3 0/0 1 20 1 1 1 0 4 -14 12
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
C. Sexton 15 4 2 5/18 2/3 3/4 4 32 0 0 2 1 3 -13 21
T. Thompson 12 6 0 6/7 0/0 0/0 0 17 1 0 0 3 3 -10 19
C. Osman 8 5 6 3/13 1/5 1/2 3 30 0 0 0 0 5 -13 25
A. Burks 3 1 3 1/8 1/3 0/0 1 29 1 0 1 0 1 -13 10
R. Hood 3 4 2 1/7 1/3 0/0 1 20 1 1 1 0 4 -14 12
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Nance Jr. 16 7 2 8/12 0/1 0/1 4 25 2 0 0 3 4 +6 29
M. Dellavedova 11 2 4 4/7 1/3 2/2 0 15 0 0 2 0 2 -3 19
J. Blossomgame 11 10 2 3/5 3/5 2/2 0 25 0 1 0 1 9 +3 26
J. Clarkson 9 5 3 4/13 0/3 1/2 0 20 0 0 2 0 5 -6 18
C. Frye 3 0 0 1/2 1/1 0/0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 -12 3
J. Jones 1 2 0 0/4 0/3 1/2 2 18 0 0 1 0 2 -5 2
K. Love - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Henson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Zizic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Nwaba - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 92 46 24 36/96 10/30 10/15 15 236 5 2 9 8 38 -80 184
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
E. Bledsoe 20 12 5 8/15 4/5 0/0 2 28 0 0 1 3 9 +19 41
M. Brogdon 18 5 5 8/12 1/3 1/1 2 28 0 0 3 0 5 +4 30
K. Middleton 16 7 3 5/16 2/5 4/4 2 28 0 0 3 0 7 +20 26
B. Lopez 12 4 1 5/9 2/5 0/1 3 24 0 3 1 1 3 +32 20
E. Ilyasova 9 7 2 3/7 1/2 2/2 5 21 1 1 1 3 4 +10 21
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
E. Bledsoe 20 12 5 8/15 4/5 0/0 2 28 0 0 1 3 9 +19 41
M. Brogdon 18 5 5 8/12 1/3 1/1 2 28 0 0 3 0 5 +4 30
K. Middleton 16 7 3 5/16 2/5 4/4 2 28 0 0 3 0 7 +20 26
B. Lopez 12 4 1 5/9 2/5 0/1 3 24 0 3 1 1 3 +32 20
E. Ilyasova 9 7 2 3/7 1/2 2/2 5 21 1 1 1 3 4 +10 21
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
S. Brown 12 8 2 5/11 2/4 0/0 3 30 0 0 0 0 8 +7 24
D. Wilson 7 1 0 3/4 1/2 0/0 1 13 1 0 1 0 1 -7 8
T. Maker 6 3 1 2/5 0/1 2/2 0 15 1 0 1 0 3 -4 11
T. Snell 3 1 0 1/7 1/4 0/0 2 19 0 0 1 0 1 -6 3
D. DiVincenzo 3 4 1 1/4 1/3 0/0 2 13 0 0 1 2 2 +9 8
G. Hill 2 2 2 1/3 0/1 0/1 1 12 1 0 0 0 2 +5 9
J. Smith 0 4 0 0/3 0/1 0/0 1 4 0 0 1 3 1 -9 3
P. Connaughton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Antetokounmpo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Wood - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Duval - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 108 58 22 42/96 15/36 9/11 24 235 4 4 14 12 46 +80 204