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Bucks top short-handed Cavs

Jan 1, 2015 - 2:44 AM Cleveland, OH ( - Brandon Knight scored 26 points with six rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks took down a depleted Cleveland Cavaliers team, 96-80, on Wednesday.

O.J. Mayo supplied 15 points off the bench and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Bucks, who have won two straight and three of their last four.

Milwaukee could attribute the win to a very impressive defensive third quarter, holding Cleveland to 3-of-19 shooting and taking a 71-54 lead into the fourth quarter.

"I thought we got off to a good start on the road, then they came back a little bit in the second," said Bucks coach Jason Kidd. "We came out after halftime getting stops and that was big."

LeBron James missed a second consecutive game for the Cavs with left knee soreness, while fellow forward Kevin Love missed the contest with back spasms.

Kyrie Irving paced Cleveland, which has lost three straight, with 25 points and Tristan Thompson deposited 10 points and 13 rebounds.

"We certainly fought," said Cavs coach David Blatt. "Obviously we are short- handed, that is what happened."

Jared Dudley and Mayo closed the first quarter with 3-pointers to give the Bucks a 31-18 lead entering the second, then a 16-0 run midway through the second helped Cleveland close to within one and it trailed 52-47 at the break.

Milwaukee scored the first six points in the third quarter and Dion Waiters' layup ended that little spurt with 9:44 left. Then the Cavs received just one basket over the next 7:39 and the Bucks built a 71-51 lead.

Milwaukee, which won the third by a 19-7 margin, led by as many as 22 in the fourth.

Game Notes

Milwaukee snapped its four-game losing streak in Cleveland ... The Cavs shot 34 percent from the floor ... Milwaukee had a 54-49 edge on the glass ... The Bucks scored 15 points off 13 turnovers.