CLEVELAND -- Everything was going according to plan for the Milwaukee Bucks midway through the third quarter Friday night.
They were knocking down three-pointers and building a comfortable 20-point lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Surely the Bucks were poised to finally move five games over .500, a record that eluded them two previous times this season.
But it all vanished as the Cavaliers stormed back to grab a 113-108 victory before 15,098 delighted fans at Quicken Loans Arena.
Newly named all-star Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers starters began the comeback with a 22-11 run to end the third quarter, cutting Cleveland's deficit to 90-81 entering the final period.
And the improved Cavaliers bench -- helped by former Bucks guard Shaun Livingston and newcomers Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington -- took over from there in the fourth quarter. Cleveland outscored the Bucks, 32-18, in the final quarter.
Irving finished with a game-high 35 points, including 24 in the second half, as the Cavaliers (12-32) finished with a 2-2 mark against the Bucks this season.
Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 30 points but the Bucks (22-19) had a three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 6-3 under new coach Jim Boylan.
"Sometimes you live by the jump shot, you die by the jump shot," Boylan said. "We had a little bit of a struggle tonight making them in the fourth.
"The second unit for Cleveland came in and really changed the complexion of the game. I thought Shaun Livingston was outstanding. There's an old thing in the NBA. You go play your old team and you always have a little extra."
Livingston scored 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Luke Walton added seven assists.
And Speights did his usual against the Bucks, contributing 10 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes. The burly forward, obtained along with Ellington in a trade with Memphis on Tuesday, had eight points and four rebounds while playing every minute of the fourth quarter.
"The first time I got in things were going 100 mph," Speights said. "But the second time I got in I felt real good.
"I have good games vs. them. That's what I told them. 'Different team, same results.' "
The Bucks hit 12 of 19 three-pointers through three quarters (63.2 percent) but sank just 2 of 9 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter to finish 14 of 28.
Ilyasova was 5 of 6 from three-point distance and was just shy of his career high of 32 points set against Chicago in March 2012.
"We started aggressively and were able to knock down those wide-open three-point shots," Ilyasova said. "That's why we were able to build the lead.
"But we were struggling defensively against the pick-and-roll and against Irving. They closed out and got help from the crowd. We kind of gave up the game."
The Bucks trailed, 102-95, but did close the gap to 104-102 on a hook shot by Larry Sanders with 1 minute, 35 seconds left.
But Speights countered with a layup. The Bucks were still within three in the final minute, but Irving played the closer role to perfection as he hit a 14-foot shot with 35.2 seconds left for a 109-104 Cleveland lead.
"We didn't make shots at the end, and we turned the ball over at critical times and they converted on it," Bucks guard Monta Ellis said.
"They've improved their team. They kept fighting even though they were down 20 and came back and got a win."
Ellis had 21 points, nine assists and six rebounds in 42 minutes.
Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings was in foul trouble and went scoreless in the first half before finishing with 14 points (5-of-19 shooting) and 12 assists.
The Bucks gave up more than 30 points in each of the last three quarters.
"When you give up 30 points a quarter, unless you're an unbelievable offensive team, you're not going to win the game," Boylan said.
"They got in the paint on us; we didn't stop the ball. They sucked our defense in and were able to kick it out for shots. They were very good around the basket."
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