It’s onto the play-in tournament.
Cleveland picked up an easy win on Sunday — a win that secured their spot, at worst, as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. For the game, the Bucks chose to rest several key players, including Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee’s star guard, only played a few seconds in order to earn a bonus for game’s played and committed a foul to check out of the game before either team took a shot.
The Cavs, played all of their healthy players against the Bucks’ backups, won the first quarter 46-20 and were up 69-46 at halftime. Cleveland cracked 100 points in the third quarter and pulled most of its rotation players out in the same quarter. The result game was never in question.
The Bucks did cut Cleveland’s lead to 14 with 6:06 to go, prompting J.B. Bickerstaff to put Rajon Rondo and Osman back in the game it appeared both were done for the night. With 5:08 to play and Cleveland still up 14, Darius Garland, Caris LeVert and Lauri Markannen all returned with the Cavs looking to properly closeout the game. Once Garland, LeVert and Markannen returned, Cleveland outscored Milwaukee 14-8 in about a three-minute stretch. Garland and Markannen then went back to the bench with the lead back above 20 points.
Kevin Love led the Cavs with 32 points and tied his career-high with eight three-pointers made. He did that in just 14 minutes off the bench. Markannen added 23 points with Evan Mobley adding 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Up next: The Cavs will play next in the play-in tournament, likely in Brooklyn against the Nets pending the results on the Nets’ game against the Pacers.