Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – What a difference some bench players can make.
For the Cavs, they made all the difference Friday night, as the Cavs came all the way back from 20 down in the third quarter to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 113-108 at the Q.
The win earns a season split in the four games between the two teams.
The new Cavaliers, Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington, were a big part of the comeback crew who helped the Cavs outscore the Bucks 32 to 18 in the final 12 minutes.
Speights had a huge presence inside, and ended the game with 10 points and 8 rebounds in 18 minutes. Ellington hit a big three, and ended the night with three points in 14 minutes.
Kyrie Irving, a night after being selected as a reserve for the NBA All-Star game, led the Cavs with 35 points on 12-for-17 shooting.
Ersan Ilyasova killed the Cavs from three-point range, as he hit for 30 points, going 5-for-6 from threes. Once the Cavs started playing defense on him, they held him in check in the final quarter.
Monta Ellis had 21 for Milwaukee, and Brandon Jennings and Larry Sanders each had 14.
The second team with Luke Walton, Shaun Livingston, Daniel Gibson, Ellington and Speights brought the team to life, holding Milwaukee down and scoring points to get the team back in the game.
Irving started the comeback after the Cavs trailed by 20, and scored 16 in the third quarter to get them in single digits.
The Bucks led 80-71 after three, but the Cavs went on a 21-5 run to start the quarter, and the five bench bunch turned the game around.
Overall the Cavs outscored the Bucks 54-29 in the last 18:03, and in the fourth quarter the Cavs shots 65 percent to 28 percent for Milwaukee.
With the crowd in the game for the last quarter and a half, the Cavs were able to put it away with Irving back in the game with just over five minutes to go, hitting some key shots and free throws.
The win is the third in a row at home for the Cavs, and they are now 12-32 on the season, dropping the Bucks to 22-19.
The Cavs are on the road Saturday to take on the Raptors in Toronto.