3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ brutal loss to Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 26 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 26 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Cleveland Cavaliers: Isaac Okoro, Darius Garland
CLEVELAND, OHIO – JANUARY 26 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

After three days off, one would think that the Milwaukee Bucks would be refreshed as they took the court against the Cleveland Cavaliers last night. However, anyone that thought that would be mistaken, to put it lightly, as the Bucks clocked in one of their worst outings of the season.

It was not all bad to start, as the Bucks led 35-26 after a solid opening period. However, this one quickly went downhill for the defending champs as Cleveland outscored Milwaukee 39-22 in the second quarter and then 30-20 in the third to take full control of the game. The Cavaliers’ built up a lead as large as 21 points at one point, and although the Bucks had several chances to possibly make a run and make things interesting, they never took advantage.

In the end, the Cavaliers easily won this one with a final score of 115-99. Not only does it sting to lose any game, but this one is particularly tough as the Bucks had a golden opportunity to knock off a Central Division opponent and gain some ground in the tight Eastern Conference standings. Instead, the Cavaliers take a 2-1 lead in the regular season series and the Bucks will have some more ground to make up as they make a run at the top seed in the East. With all that said, let us take a closer look at three takeaways from this frustrating loss.

Turnovers doomed the Milwaukee Bucks in ugly loss to Cleveland Cavaliers

The Bucks have had their share of issues taking care of the basketball this season, tallying a tick under 14 turnovers per game heading into last night’s matchup. Well, that number is destined to increase as they nearly met that mark in the first half alone last night with 13 turnovers. They had 19 for the entire game, and it was outright grueling to watch unfold.

Giannis Antetokounmpo will shoulder most of the blame there as he notched seven turnovers by himself, which tied a season-high. Whether it was due to head-scratching passes, offensive fouls, or just some great defense by the Cavaliers, Antetokounmpo did not look like his usual self in this game. There was certainly some rust there after the Greek Freak had some extra time off as he missed the Bucks’ last game against the Sacramento Kings as well. Nevertheless, he will bounce back.

Surprisingly, the player with the next highest turnover total was Donte DiVincenzo, who tallied a season-high four turnovers. The guard looked lost all night, unsure of himself and what he should do with the basketball, which resulted in several frustrating moments. Not exactly the production the Bucks would have liked from DiVincenzo as Grayson Allen was sitting out due to suspension.  Rounding out the roster, Khris Middleton logged three turnovers, Jrue Holiday and Bobby Portis had two apiece, and Jordan Nwora had one.

There is no excuse for the Bucks to finish with 19 turnovers in a single game. Ball control remains a significant concern for this club, which is just one of their many issues right now.