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Drew Gooden's triple-double helps Milwaukee Bucks top Cleveland Cavaliers, 115-105

By Chris Jenkins

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, March 14 2012 9:05 p.m. MDT

Milwaukee Bucks' Ersan Ilyasova (7) knocks the ball away from Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in Milwaukee.

Morry Gash, Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — After his first triple-double a little more than a year ago, Drew Gooden jokingly referred to himself as "Tragic Johnson." The 6-foot-10 forward was just a bit more boastful this time around, proudly proclaiming that when he plays basketball in the summer, he's usually the point guard.

Gooden had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists for his second career triple-double, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-105 on Wednesday night.

"Believe it or not, I like to pass," Gooden said. "I kind of pass up some shots too much to try to make the extra play, or the home-run play. Some nights it works out for me, like tonight. But you've still got to credit my teammates."

Gooden completed the triple-double with a rebound near the end of the third quarter and sat out the fourth. His other triple-double also came against the Cavaliers last April.

"Some nights he's tragic, some nights he's magic," Mike Dunleavy joked. "Tonight, he was magic, with a little tragic sprinkled in. Five turnovers? I mean, come on."

Cavaliers coach Byron Scott hadn't forgotten about Gooden's previous triple-double.

"Gooden would probably love to play against us every game," Scott said. "Every time he plays (us) he has a triple-double. I think he would love to play against us another 10 times this season."

Gooden's big assist night was only part of an impressive team effort by the Bucks, who had 38 assists — the most by any team in a game this season. The Bucks had 32 assists in a victory at New Jersey on Monday night.

"Guys were just finding guys, making shots, Drew was out there looking like a point guard," Brandon Jennings said. "He had a triple-double in 29 minutes — I've never seen that before."

Ersan Ilyasova had 22 points before fouling out for the Bucks, who have won four straight.

Kyrie Irving had 28 points for the Cavaliers.

"The past few games I was really struggling with my shot but I am getting it back," Irving said. "I thought I was hitting the mythical rookie wall but I am getting it back."

Irving had 10 points in the fourth quarter, trying to keep the Cavs in the game.

"He did his thing, especially in the fourth quarter," Jennings said. "But the game was kind of decided."

It was a significant win for the Bucks, who are battling the Cavaliers and New York Knicks for the No. 8 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

Guard Ramon Sessions played for Cleveland despite being linked to other teams in trade speculation, saying afterward that he can't wait for the deadline to pass.

"I am looking forward to it," Sessions said. "I can't wait to get it over. I am wishing it was over at midnight tonight instead of having to wait all day tomorrow."

Antawn Jamison, whose name also has been mentioned in potential trades, said he isn't getting nervous.

"When I don't hear anything involving my name, then I get nervous," Jamison said. "I plan on being here Friday morning."

The game capped a hectic 24 hours for the Bucks, who pulled off a major trade with the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. Milwaukee sent 2005 No. 1 overall pick Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson to the Warriors in exchange for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and the expiring contract of Kwame Brown.

Ellis and Udoh can't play for the Bucks until Bogut and Jackson complete their physicals with the Warriors, something that had not happened as of Wednesday evening. It remains to be seen whether the exams will be complete before Friday night, when the Bucks play at the Warriors.

Ellis and Udoh were introduced in a news conference before the game, then drew applause from the crowd when they were shown on the scoreboard video display during a timeout in the first quarter.

Milwaukee led 84-78 going into the fourth, then began the quarter with a 6-0 run. Milwaukee took a 90-78 lead on an acrobatic driving layup by Ilyasova with 9:51 left. Cleveland's Samardo Samuels hit a jumper to stop the run.

With Milwaukee later leading by nine, Dunleavy hit a 3-pointer to put the Bucks up 97-85 with just under seven minutes left.

Irving kept the Cavs in the game, completing a three-point play to cut the Bucks' lead to 102-93 with 5:24 left. But Ilyasova answered with a layup on an assist from Dunleavy, putting the Bucks up by 11.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored on a baseline layup for Milwaukee — then Jennings came up with the ball on the other end and threw a long outlet pass to Mbah a Moute, who slammed it home for a 108-93 Bucks lead with 3:56 left.

NOTES: Mbah a Moute came off the bench for the Bucks after playing only eight minutes in the past five games because of right knee soreness. ... A fan hit a half-court shot for a $10,000 prize at halftime. ... "Squad Six," the cheering section founded by Bogut, was present for Wednesday's game despite the Bogut trade.

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