http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/playing-time-increases-for-jabari-parker-b99614616z1-350291681.htmlJabari Parker played his role in the Milwaukee Bucks' double overtime victory against Cleveland on Saturday night.
The 6-foot-8 forward also played 30 minutes, his longest run in five games since returning from knee surgery.
Bucks fans in the sellout crowd at the BMO Harris Bradley Center relished his one-handed tomahawk dunk and later a two-handed dunk over Cavaliers forward Kevin Love. Those were the moments they have waited for during Parker's recovery from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament suffered last December.
Parker finished with 12 points and three rebounds in the Bucks' 108-105 victory over the Cavaliers as he joined six teammates in double figures.
"I think he's doing well," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. "Once he took the ball to the basket and had that dunk, you can see that his confidence grew about having contact and being able to do the things he did before the injury.
"It's going to be like that for some time after a serious injury like that. He's got to gain confidence. It just doesn't happen overnight."
Parker sliced through Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao for the one-handed dunk early in the second quarter to cut the Bucks' deficit to 30-25.
But the second dunk drew an even bigger response from the 18,000 fans when he threw down a two-hander with Love trying to stay out of the way. Parker was fouled by Love on a drive moments later and sank two free throws for a 62-55 Bucks lead.
Parker played 9 minutes in the fourth quarter and Kidd brought him back for 3 minutes 32 seconds in the first overtime. The 20-year-old scored two points in the final quarter and did not take a shot in overtime.
"I didn't want to stretch him over 30 minutes," Kidd said. "We've got every other day coming up here on the road. I wanted him to get a taste of that overtime and I thought he did a really good job."
The Bucks do not have any back-to-back games on the three-game road swing this week that will take them to Washington, Cleveland and Indiana.
They face the Wizards Tuesday night and the Cavaliers again Thursday night in a TNT-televised game before meeting the Pacers Saturday night.
That's good news for the Bucks lineup with Parker not being forced to sit out on the second night of a back-to-back set, as he did last week when Milwaukee played at Denver.
Another Bucks player gaining confidence on Saturday was reserve guard Greivis Vasquez, who finished with 13 points and four assists in 24 minutes.
Vasquez hit a three-pointer late in the third quarter to give the Bucks a 70-61 lead, and his second triple of the game proved to be critical.
It came on an assist from Jerryd Bayless and extended the Bucks' lead to 106-102 with 1:53 left in the second overtime.
"For Greivis, we all believe in him, not just myself but his teammates," Kidd said of the former Toronto point guard. "He gave us a lift, being able to make big shots, competing, finding open guys.
"He's a floor general. He's not afraid of the moment and he stepped up again for us."
Vasquez was 4 of 8 from the floor (2 of 5 on three-pointers) and credited Bayless with helping him find some rhythm.
"He's leading us by example; he's playing really hard," Vasquez said. "I feel like Bayless got me a few shots (Saturday). I'm struggling.
"I feel like the confidence my teammates have and the coaches have, that means a lot to me because I know what I can do. I'm still trying to adjust and this is a transition process for me, it's a different team. But I want to be here."