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Dose of Love gives listless Cavs a lift

The Associated Press

The Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton, left, and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dwyane Wade battle for a loose ball in the first half of Tuesday’s game in Cleveland.

The Associated PressCLEVELAND (AP) — Kevin Love joked that he might swing by the hospital on his way home.

On a recent visit, he got a dose of something that made him and the Cavaliers feel better.

Love scored a season-high 32 points without attempting a 3-pointer, LeBron James added 30 following an interesting couple days on social media, and Cleveland withstood a 40-point performance by Giannis Antetokounmpo to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 124-119 on Tuesday night.

The Cavs have been one of the NBA’s biggest surprises this season — for all the wrong reasons. But after losing five of six, they did enough to hand the young-and-improving Bucks their fourth straight loss and keep Cleveland fans from panicking.

Love was briefly hospitalized after scoring just four points and leaving a surprising loss to Atlanta in the third quarter on Sunday. Following his best game this season, Cleveland’s center was asked what IV medications he received.

“I don’t know,” he said with a smile. “Whatever they gave me I might go back and check myself in tonight.”

Love added 16 rebounds. J.R. Smith found his stroke and added a season-high 20 points for the Cavs.

“That’s my guy,” James said of Smith, who went 5 of 7 on 3-pointers while wearing a model of James’ sneakers. “Swish is my guy and he’s been struggling the first 10 games. I told him it was the shoes. He finally decided to wear my shoes. After a long conversation we finally decided to wear them and he had a breakout game.

“He hit the 3-ball, got into the paint. That was Swish. We’re gonna need more of that from him a lot coming up.”

Still a few weeks shy of his 23rd birthday, the multi-talented Antetokounmpo finished 16 of 21 from the floor. He also had nine rebounds and eight turnovers before fouling out with 18 seconds left.

Malcolm Brogdon had 22 points for Milwaukee, and Khris Middleton finished with 20.

Cleveland’s start to the season has been puzzling on so many levels. Loaded with as much talent as any team in the league, the Eastern Conference champions have been beating good teams and losing to squads they should be handling.

“We don’t want to,” Love said. “We’d rather come out and play — because we’re capable — at a high level of basketball every single game. We have a ton of talent in here.”

The myriad issues have led to the usual scrutiny of James, who caused a stir on social media Monday night.

Moments after former teammate Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics beat the Hawks for their ninth straight win, James posted a meme on his Instagram account of the kids’ cartoon character Arthur with a clenched fist with the caption “mood.”

Asked for the meaning, James shrugged. “I like Arthur,” he said.

James played in his 1,072nd game, tying him for 82nd place on the career list with a certain Michael Jeffrey Jordan.

Bledsoe gets wish, dealt to Bucks

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Eric Bledsoe’s disgruntled days are over.

The talented guard is getting a fresh start with the Milwaukee Bucks, who have another proven scorer to take some pressure off All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Bledsoe, who wanted out of Phoenix, was traded to the Bucks on Tuesday in exchange for big man Greg Monroe and two 2018 draft picks.

The 27-year-old Bledsoe had not been with the Suns since Oct. 22, when he posted “I Don’t wanna be here” on Twitter, the same day the Suns fired coach Earl Watson. He had been averaging 15.7 points per game, second behind Devin Booker, and was the team’s on-court leader.

He was sent home by the Suns after the tweet, reducing the team’s leverage because everyone in the league knew Phoenix was trying to trade him. Bledsoe had asked to be traded before the season, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has said. The NBA fined the eight-year NBA veteran $10,000 for the tweet.Speech

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