MILWAUKEE — O.J. Mayo scored 28 points, including six 3-pointers, and Gary Neal had 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks held off the Cavaliers 109-104 on Wednesday night.
Milwaukee, already without its top two point guards — Brandon Knight and Luke Ridnour — also played without forward Ersan Ilyasova and center Larry Sanders. Ilyasova was out with a sore right ankle while Sanders was out with a sprained right thumb, injured in a weekend off-court incident, the Bucks said in a statement.
The Bucks opened the fourth quarter with an 11-2 run to take a 94-81 lead, but Kyrie Irving scored 10 consecutive points to fuel a 13-point run that put the Cavaliers up 104-103.
Caron Butler tipped in a miss by Mayo with 24.8 seconds left to put the Bucks up 105-104 and Mayo added four free throws in the closing seconds.
Irving led Cleveland with 29 points and Dion Waiters added 21.
Neither team put on a defensive clinic in the first half that ended with the Bucks leading 55-53.
Cleveland, which entered the game shooting 40.2 percent from the field, shot 56.4 percent in the first half, making 22 of 39. The Bucks, who entered the game shooting 43.8 percent, made 20 of 36 (55.6 percent).
Cavaliers forward Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, connected on a 3-pointer with 9:46 left in the first half for his first NBA basket after starting the season 0 for 15 from the field.
The Sanders incident is being investigated, the Bucks said in a statement before the game.
“We are aware of an incident from Saturday evening,” the statement said. “The matter is under investigation and Larry Sanders is cooperating fully. At this time we will have no further comment.”
“I’m not sure exactly what happened but right now it’s under investigation,” Bucks coach Larry Drew said. “He will not play tonight due to a sore thumb.
“I have not seen him yet (tonight). I don’t know much more. You probably know more than I do. I do know that it is being investigated and that’s the word I’ve got.”
Sanders signed a four-year, $44 million contract extension during the offseason. He averaged 2.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 17.5 minutes in the Bucks’ first three games this season. Last season, he averaged 9.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.83 blocks.