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Cavaliers rout resting Bucks, secure No. 8 seed

Apr 10, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen (24) drives against Milwaukee Bucks guard Lindell Wigginton (28) in the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Love came off the bench to score a game-high 32 points and pull down 10 rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 133-115 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday in the regular-season finale.

The No. 8 Cavs will travel to No. 7 Brooklyn on Tuesday for an Eastern Conference play-in game. The Nets trimmed visiting Cleveland on Friday 118-107.

Milwaukee (51-31) will finish either No. 2 or 3. If Boston defeats Memphis Sunday night, the Celtics will grab the second seed.

Love was a sizzling 8 of 11 from the 3-point line in his 15 minutes for Cleveland, which shot 19 of 38 from behind the arc.

Lauri Markkanen fired in 23 points for the Cavs (44-38), while Rookie of the Year candidate Evan Mobley contributed 18 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks and Rajon Rondo dished out a game-high 13 assists.

Sandro Mamukelashvili paced Milwaukee with 28 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, while Thanasis Antetokounmpo had a career-high 27 points and Jordan Nwora added 24 points.

The game appeared to be completely over after three quarters, 111-79, before the Bucks rallied in the fourth. Milwaukee went on a 16-0 run, which forced Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff to put in some of his starters to close it out. The Bucks outscored the Cavs 36-22 in the fourth quarter.

Cleveland led by 33 points at halftime, 79-46.

Rayjon Tucker had 10 points in the first half for the Bucks, while Lindell Wigginton and Antetokounmpo each added nine points.

Love had 23 points and eight rebounds in the first half for the Cavs.

Cleveland scored the first 14 points and 19 of the first 22 in the game. The Cavs connected on 10 3-pointers in the first quarter to storm out to 46-20 lead. Love had five 3-pointers en route to an 18-point effort in the opening quarter.

The 46 points tied the Cavs’ franchise record for points in a quarter.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer pulled the plug on the competitive nature of the game when he decided to rest eight players, including Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee), Brook Lopez (back), Khris Middleton (wrist), Bobby Portis (shoulder), Serge Ibaka (illness), Grayson Allen (hip), George Hill (abdominal strain) and Luca Vildoza (coach’s decision). Jrue Holiday started the game and left after the opening tip.

The Cavs are still playing without All-Star center Jarrett Allen (finger). They hope to have him back for their play-in game.

–Field Level Media