Giannis gets double-double; LeBron gets triple-double; Cavs beat Bucks 124-117
CLEVELAND — LeBron James scored 40 points as part of his third triple-double in four games and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 124-117 on Monday night as coach Tyronn Lue began his leave of absence to address health issues.
Lue said Monday in a statement he been dealing with chest pains and loss of sleep, and that tests have offered no conclusion about what the issue is. Associate head coach Larry Drew will run the team in Lue’s absence.
James scored 17 points in the third quarter and finished with 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his 16th triple-double this season and 71st of his career.
The four-time MVP took over in the third beginning with back-to-back 3-pointers. After not getting a foul called on a third attempt, he finished Cleveland’s next possession with a massive dunk. He was fouled attempting another dunk and made both free throws the following time down.
Milwaukee cut a 17-point lead to 117-109, but James drove the length of the floor for a dunk with just over a minute left.
Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love returned after missing six weeks because of a broken left hand and scored 18 points in 25 minutes. He sparked a 10-0 run in the second quarter with two 3-pointers
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 37 points and went 11 for 11 at the foul line for Milwaukee, which is seventh in the Eastern Conference. Khris Middleton had 30 points, making 11 of 16 from the field.
Milwaukee guard Jason Terry was given a Flagrant-1 foul for hitting Ante Zizic in the face with an open hand while the rookie center was putting up a shot in the lane. Zizic made both free throws, helping spark a run that built a double-figure lead.
Lue, 40, led Cleveland to the 2016 NBA championship after taking over for David Blatt midway through that season.
The Cavaliers (41-29) are third in the Eastern Conference and have endured roster shake-ups, injuries and other distractions as they try to reach the NBA Finals for the fourth straight time.
No timetable has been given for when Lue will return. He missed the second half Saturday, the second time this season he left a game because he wasn’t feeling well. Lue also sat out a game against Chicago at home in December.
Going out on a high note
The Cavaliers honored former Browns tackle Joe Thomas, who attended the game after holding a retirement press conference Monday. James embraced Thomas, who received a standing ovation in an on-court tribute during a timeout.
Bucks: Antetokounmpo picked up his second foul at the 5:58 mark of the first quarter and went to the bench. He scored 10 points in the second, including a one-handed dunk off an alley-oop pass from Eric Bledsoe. … C Tyler Zeller (sore ribs) missed his second straight game.
Cavaliers: G Kyle Korver scored 12 points after missing Saturday’s game because of a family matter. He’s also been dealing with a sore right foot. … Drew hopes F Tristan Thompson, who hasn’t played since March 3 because of a sprained right ankle will return this week. … Larry Nance Jr. (sore right hamstring), Rodney Hood (strained lower back) and Cedi Osman (strained left hip flexor) are also out.
Bucks: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
Cavaliers: Host Toronto on Wednesday.