On the 2010-11 season, Cleveland native Earl Boykins is averaging 8.3 points per game on 45 percent shooting for the Milwaukee Bucks. When Boykins faces the Cavaliers, the 5-foot-5-inch guard steps up his game, averaging 13.5 points on 70.6 (yes, 70.6) percent shooting.
Of all the teams Boykins has face at least twice this season, only the Los Angeles Lakers have seen the veteran produce better scoring totals. But in last night’s 110-90 loss to the Bucks, the former Cavalier did his old team dirty by shooting 8-for-9 from the floor, tallying 18 points – all in the first half.
Boykins was a perfet 6-of-6 from the floor in the second quarter, leading the Bucks on a 30-10 run that would prove to be insurmountable by his Wine and Gold-clad opponents who have now lost five of their last six games.
“[Boykins] came in and made shots but I thought he got up into us defensively, he was a little bit of a pest,” said Scott postgame. “He did some real good stuff as far as getting us to alter our offense. We didn’t really have anybody to guard him.”
The Cavaliers were on the road, on the second night of a back-to-back, short-handed after the departure of Baron Davis and apparently needed another 5-foot-5 shooting guard to cover the Central Catholic alum. Bucks head coach Scott Skiles called Boykins’ play the product of a hot hand, but the truth of the matter is that the same player provided nine points (4-of-8 shooting), four assists and two steals in limited time the last time these two teams squared off. The term Cav-killer has been cast upon many players before him, but Boykins is showing that his name certainly belongs on the list.
“I think [Boykins] changed the tempo of the game,” said 6-foot-9-inch JJ Hickson of a player over a foot shorter. “He slowed it up when he wanted to, he pushed it down when he wanted to, got into the paint when he wanted to, shot whatever jump shot he wanted to shoot. He just got everybody involved.”
Boykins also had more rebounds on the night (2) than the 7-foot-tall Ryan Hollins (1) – both pictured above.
The Cavaliers will take today off before practices on Friday and Saturday as they gear up for Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday afternoon, their only game in the next six days.
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)