Sexton struggles, Cavaliers fall to Bucks 114-102
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - Growing pains are part of any young player’s life when they first enter the NBA. Cleveland Cavaliers rookie point guard Collin Sexton is no exception.
Entering Friday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Sexton had started 18 games this season and averaged 18.7 points per game in those contests, including 47 percent from beyond the arc. He had scored in double-figures in 24 games this season, the second-most among all rookies, including in each of his last 18 contests. That all changed on Friday, as Sexton scored just five points on 2-of-11 shooting in the Cavs’ 114-102 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Anytime you’re continuously trying to finish over length, your percentages go down,” Cavs interim head coach Larry Drew said about Sexton’s struggles on Friday. “He has not figured that out yet, but I think it’s something that will come in time.”
The Bucks jumped on the Cavs early, racing out to a quick 9-0 lead. Cleveland didn’t score a point in the first three minutes of the game and didn’t get on the scoreboard until Rodney Hood sank two free throws with 8:53 to play in the first quarter. When Milwaukee point guard Eric Bledsoe converted a layup roughly two minutes later, the Cavs trailed 15-4. Cleveland trailed 27-16 when the first quarter ended, but began to make a bit of a run in the second.
When Cavs guard Jordan Clarkson drained a three-pointer with 5:01 remaining until halftime, Cleveland had crawled back within single digits, 44-37. Unfortunately, the Cavs never led in the game and the closest they came within Milwaukee the rest of the way was a late five-point deficit.
The Cavs had no answer for Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished with a career-high tying 44 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.
Clarkson led Cleveland with 23 points, while Hood contributed 19 points. Larry Nance Jr. totaled 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Sexton didn’t score his first points, which came on a floater, until the opening moments of the second half. Friday night’s game will undoubtedly be a learning experience for Sexton, who has many years ahead of him in the league. He entered the day second among all rookies in points per game at 15.8, so Cavs fans and management have certainly been pleased with the rookie from the University of Alabama this season.
Sexton will look to start a new double-digit scoring streak when the Cavs host the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.
POSTED 12/14/2018 22:28