James returned from his illness to score 24 and Cleveland beat the Milwaukee Bucks 102-95 Monday night. But even after the loss to their Eastern Conference rivals, they remain ahead of the second-place Boston Celtics (37-21) by 3.5 games. His three-point shooting has remained relatively constant since he left the Jazz, staying very close to his 35.6% career mark, though his overall field goal percentage has dropped from nearly 47% in his six seasons with the Jazz to roughly 42% since then. But once Dallas informed me they kind of wanted to go in a different direction, the Cavs were the first team that jumped out at me. Irving has now scored over 20 points in 9 straight games. Milwaukee went through a stretch where it made 12-of-16 shots from the field before missing 13 of its next 16 attempts, with Cleveland holding a 52-50 halftime lead.
For the third time this season, the Chicago Bulls have defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavs went small to start the game, starting Richard Jefferson at power forward. He joins a one-time All-Star acquisition, Kyle Korver, and former No. 2 pick Derrick Williams? Irving's bank shot from near the corner over helpless Bucks defender Malcolm Brogdon was the shot of the night.
The Bulls let the 20-point lead they had get down to single digits in the 4 quarter, but were able to pull it together and Jimmy Butler (who came alive with 13 of his 18 points in the 3 quarter) was able to put another triple-double in his pocket.
Reigning MVP Curry had 27 points and Thompson added 24 of his own in the absence of Kevin Durant, who sat out due to a finger problem, as the Warriors became the first team to clinch a playoff berth.
Korver limped off the court after spraining his right knee with 2:59 left in the fourth quarter Saturday against Chicago, but played against the Bucks. Beasley immediately knew something was wrong and he was helped off the floor by teammates Greg Monroe and Thon Maker, who carried him to the locker room. Head coach Fred Hoiberg's team has scored a total of 245 points over the past two games.
They finally have their man in three-time NBA All-Star Deron Williams. He signed a four-year, $38 million offer sheet with Milwaukee after Cleveland won the 2016 title.