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LeBron, Cavs take down fading Bucks

Mar 23, 2015 - 4:12 AM Milwaukee, WI ( - LeBron James picked up 28 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as Cleveland claimed a 108-90 decision over Milwaukee on Sunday.

J.R. Smith chimed in with 23 points and Kyrie Irving contributed 20 with seven assists for the Cavaliers, who won their third in a row and seventh in eight while maintaining a healthy lead over Chicago in the Central Division.

"Milwaukee's length and ability to get their hands on balls and steal the ball bothers every team," Cavs coach David Blatt said. "That's a big part of their game. It disturbed us."

Michael Carter-Williams led the way with 19 points but committed six turnovers for the Bucks, who have dropped six in a row. Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo each totaled 15 in defeat.

"For any team, not just LeBron, when you give those guys free opportunities like that ... they're going to make you pay for it and they did," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said.

Cleveland trailed by nine at halftime but suddenly awoke in the third quarter. Down 57-46 early on, the Cavs made a run to get within 63-60 thanks to Irving bookending the surge with five points and Kevin Love hitting a triple.

The visitors were down six inside two minutes left in the period, before James reeled off six in a row and Iman Shumpert closed out the quarter with a layup and Cleveland was up 75-73.

John Henson's bucket less than two minutes into the fourth pulled the Bucks within 77-76, but Milwaukee failed to make a field goal for the next three- plus minutes as the Cavaliers pulled away.

James tallied four in a row inside of a minute to give his team a five-point edge, then he and Smith converted back-to-back triples to make it 87-76 before Henson snapped the hosts' cold streak.

Smith, though, hit two more from long distance, the last one with 6:19 remaining which put the Cavs up 93-78.

Milwaukee was never able to shrink its deficit below double digits for the remainder.

Ersan Ilyasova and Antetokounmpo each netted seven as the opening 12 minutes ended with the Bucks up 26-25. Milwaukee ended the second quarter on a 9-3 run and took a 53-44 edge to halftime.

Game Notes

Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov each finished with 10 points for Cleveland ... Ilyasova totaled 14 points and six rebounds ... The Cavs hit 13-of-31 from beyond the arc and shot 50 percent (42-of-84) from the floor for the contest ... James also recorded a game-high five steals, part of Milwaukee's 23- turnover effort.