for this game

Cavaliers limp back home, host Bucks

Dec 31, 2014 - 2:38 PM ( - The Cleveland Cavaliers hope to get two of their star players back to close out 2014 Wednesday night when they welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to Quicken Loans Arena.

LeBron James was a late scratch Tuesday night in a 109-101 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks. James intended to play on his 30th birthday, but head coach David Blatt sidelined the four-time MVP with left knee soreness.

"Hopefully he feels better tomorrow but obviously we want to get him right and feeling fully healthy so he can play the game the way he knows how to play," Blatt said on Tuesday.

Kevin Love finished the Hawks' loss with seven points on 1-for-8 shooting, but he departed after less than 25 minutes with back spasms.

Cleveland's loss came despite 35 points and nine assists from Kyrie Irving, who had missed the previous two contests due to a bone bruise in his left knee. Tristan Thompson added 18 points and 13 boards for the Cavs.

"Kyrie, rightfully so, took responsibility understanding that we had some scoring issues," Blatt said. "I just thought Kyrie played his heart out."

Joe Harris scored 13 points off the bench and Mike Miller didn't attempt a field goal in 19:06 of action. The Cavs committed 20 turnovers, which the Hawks turned into 31 points.

The Cavs have lost two straight and three of their last four.

The Bucks won two of their last three, including a 104-94 road overtime victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

Brandon Knight had 18 points, four assists and four steals, while Jared Dudley added 17 points and nine rebounds off the bench to lead the Bucks.

The Hornets overcame a 21-point first half deficit in regulation to force overtime, but the Bucks began the extra session on a 9-2 spurt to seize control. Giannis Antetokounmpo bookended the flurry with a jumper and a hook shot to stake Milwaukee to a 92-85 advantage.

Charlotte never got within less than six the rest of the way.

Antetokounmpo posted 16 points, eight boards and four assists, while Zaza Pachulia provided 15 points for the Bucks, who had dropped four of their last six games coming in.

"We had a big lead, offensively and defensively we started to slip a little bit," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. "Guys stayed up and kept their composure."

The Cavs won the first matchup this season between Central Division rivals. Cleveland is 5-2 in its last seven against Milwaukee and 4-0 recently at home in this series.