Mitchell scores 36, leads Cavs past Giannis, Bucks 114-106

Dec 21, 2022, 4:46 AM | Updated: 11:08 pm
Donovan Mitchell (45), de los Cavaliers de Cleveland, dispara con la marca de Giannis Antetokounmpo...

Donovan Mitchell (45), de los Cavaliers de Cleveland, dispara con la marca de Giannis Antetokounmpo (34), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, durante la segunda mitad del juego de baloncesto de la NBA, el miércoles 21 de diciembre de 2022, en Cleveland. (AP Foto/Ron Schwane)

(AP Foto/Ron Schwane)

              Donovan Mitchell (45), de los Cavaliers de Cleveland, dispara con la marca de Giannis Antetokounmpo (34), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, durante la segunda mitad del juego de baloncesto de la NBA, el miércoles 21 de diciembre de 2022, en Cleveland. (AP Foto/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) shoots against Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert (3) drives against Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen (12) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) drives against Milwaukee Bucks guard Jevon Carter (5) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks against Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates after being fouled as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks away during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Donovan Mitchell (45), de los Cavaliers de Cleveland, dispara con la marca de Giannis Antetokounmpo (34), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, durante la segunda mitad del juego de baloncesto de la NBA, el miércoles 21 de diciembre de 2022, en Cleveland. (AP Foto/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) shoots against Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert (3) drives against Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen (12) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) drives against Milwaukee Bucks guard Jevon Carter (5) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks against Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates after being fouled as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks away during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Donovan Mitchell (45), de los Cavaliers de Cleveland, dispara con la marca de Giannis Antetokounmpo (34), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, durante la segunda mitad del juego de baloncesto de la NBA, el miércoles 21 de diciembre de 2022, en Cleveland. (AP Foto/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) shoots against Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert (3) drives against Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen (12) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) drives against Milwaukee Bucks guard Jevon Carter (5) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks against Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates after being fouled as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks away during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer directs the team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman (16) is defended by Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis (9) and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (21) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff reacts to a call during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) goes up for a dunk against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Milwaukee Bucks guard Jevon Carter (5) passes the ball as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley (4) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) is defended by Milwaukee Bucks guard Jevon Carter (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

CLEVELAND (AP) — On their third try, the Cavaliers didn’t collapse against the Bucks.

Donovan Mitchell wasn’t going to let that happen again.

Mitchell scored 36 points and Cleveland finally put together a complete game against Milwaukee, withstanding superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo’s season-high 45-point performance in a 114-106 victory Wednesday night.

Darius Garland added 23 points and Jarrett Allen had 19 for the young Cavs, who lost their first two games against the Eastern Conference’s top team this season — both times caving in the third quarter and losing by 15 in Milwaukee.

Cleveland didn’t stumble in the third this time, and held on in the fourth as Antetokounmpo brought Milwaukee back.

“You get up 20, 21 against a team like this, its hard to keep them down,” Mitchell said. “They’re going to continue to fight. There’s no way they just roll over especially a team like this, especially trying to send a message to an Eastern Conference opponent.

“When you go against a team that’s been together for this long after the two games we had over there to come here and protect home court. That’s big time.”

Mitchell has transformed the Cavs into a playoff team, and perhaps one capable of going deep in the postseason.

“The Cavs are very, very dangerous,” Antetokounmpo said. “They have great players and a great system. I don’t see any reason for them not to get into the playoffs and have a good run — not against us, though.”

Mitchell scored 15 points in the third as the Cavs opened a 24-point lead. But Antetokounmpo wasn’t done and the Bucks chipped away to close within five on Pat Connaughton’s 3-pointer with 2:21 left.

“I was just trying to be aggressive,” said Antetokounmpo, who missed his first three free throws but finished 11 of 16 from the line. “When I’m aggressive, I know I can make the right play. I was just trying to do anything to spark the team.”

But the Cavs held on down the stretch thanks to Mitchell, who went 9 of 9 from the free-throw line in the fourth as Cleveland closed out the Bucks and perhaps sent a message in the process. Mitchell made 15 of 16 free throws.

The Cavs improved the NBA’s best home record to 16-2, matching their start in the 2016 championship season. They also displayed maturity in not making the same mistakes as in their first two matchups.

“We held our poise,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “They’re a championship team. They’re not going to give in. They’re going to make their runs. In the past we haven’t been able to sustain their runs. Tonight was a great step for us.”

Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer is impressed by the Cavs’ growth.

“With the addition of Mitchell, everyone has the ultimate respect for those guys,” Budenholzer said. “They’re not surprising anyone at this point, they’ve earned everyone’s respect around the league.”

Antetokounmpo scored 24 points in the second half and added 14 rebounds. Brook Lopez had 14 points for the Bucks, who were without injured All-Star forward Khris Middleton.

“Giannis was phenomenal tonight,” Budenholzer said. “He put the team on his back and had an aggressive mindset the whole game. If he saw a crack tonight, he busted it. But there are times when even he can’t get through five guys.

“If we make 1-2 more shots, maybe we get over the hump.”

BANKS ARE OPEN

Mitchell banked in a 39-foot 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in the third quarter only to be matched by Jrue Holiday, who kissed one off the glass from the same distance at the horn.

The two guards shared a laugh and playfully patted each other on the back.

“I couldn’t help but laugh,” said Mitchell, who said the basketball gods punished him for enjoying his make. “That’s what you get when you celebrate too early.”

TIP-INS

Bucks: Holiday finished with nine points, nine rebound and eight assists. … Milwaukee didnt record its first assist until midway through the second quarter. … Middleton missed his third straight game and a timetable for his return is unclear. The three-time All-Star has been limited to seven games after undergoing offseason wrist surgery.

Cavaliers: Mobley is one of four players averaging at least 15 points, nine rebounds, 2.5 assists and one block. Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis are the others. … F Lamar Stevens (knee) missed his third straight game with soreness.

UP NEXT

Bucks: Visit Brooklyn on Friday night.

Cavaliers: Host Toronto on Friday night.

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, dribbles around Golden State Warriors forward An...
Associated Press

Lillard has triple-double, Blazers beat Warriors 125-122

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers rallied past the Golden State Warriors 125-122 on Wednesday night. It was just the second triple-double of Lillard’s career, and first this season. “I didn’t shoot the ball very well. But I think I approached the […]
23 hours ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving, right, dribbles as Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann def...
Associated Press

Irving scores 24 in Dallas debut, leads Mavs over Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 24 points in his Dallas debut and the Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 110-104 on Wednesday night. The eight-time All-Star was traded to the Mavs on Sunday from the Brooklyn Nets. He was part of a 13-0 spurt early in the game, scoring eight points on a […]
23 hours ago
Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) goes to the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McD...
Associated Press

T’wolves top Jazz in matchup of teams trading with Lakers

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 31 points and Jaylen Nowell added a career-high 30 to lead Minnesota to a 143-118 win over Utah on Wednesday night amid word the Timberwolves, Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers were part of an eight-player swap hours ahead of the NBA trade deadline. “It was crazy, the […]
23 hours ago
Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) is congratulated after scoring during the second period of t...
Associated Press

Benn breaks scoreless tie early in 2nd, Stars top Wild 4-1

DALLAS (AP) — Captain Jamie Benn broke a scoreless tie 23 seconds into the second period of his 1,001st career game, and the Dallas Stars beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Wednesday night. Benn’s 20th goal on a perfect feed from 19-year-old rookie Wyatt Johnston started a three-goal second for the Western Conference-leading Stars. Radek […]
23 hours ago
Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) signals after making a 3-point shot, next to Sacramento Kings...
Associated Press

Fox’s late FTs gives Kings 130-128 win over Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) — De’Aaron Fox had 31 points, including three free throws with less than a second left, to lift the Sacramento Kings to a 130-128 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. Fox missed a 3-pointer with .3 seconds left. But Eric Gordon fouled him to set up the game-winning free throws. “I […]
23 hours ago
Vancouver Canucks' Vasily Podkolzin (92) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the ...
Associated Press

Kreider, Chytil lead Rangers to 4-3 win over Canucks

NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Kreider and Filip Chytil got New York off to a strong start in the first period and the Rangers held on to beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on Wednesday night for their third straight win. Alexis Lafreniere and Mika Zibanejad also scored for the Rangers, who have won four straight […]
23 hours ago
Mitchell scores 36, leads Cavs past Giannis, Bucks 114-106