There was a time in this game where the ClevelandCavaliers (8-28) were in control. It was enough to win the first quarter, but that was it. A poor performance in the second half allowed the Chicago Bulls (19-13) to trounce the Cavs for the third time this year, 118-92.
The Cavs defense was on point in the first quarter,forcing the Bulls into bad shots. Chicago shot 36 percent in the first quarter, and that was a lone bright spot for the Cavs tonight. The Bulls went on to shoot 54 percent for the game, including 10-of-14 from three-point range. The Bulls played a great half-court game tonight and worked the ball well down to theirbigs. Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah accounted for 22 of the team’s 34 assists. With Anderson Varejaocontinuing to nurse his right knee, the Cavs knew coming into this game that they were going to have their hands full with Boozer and Noah, and that is exactly how it played out.
Kyrie Irving and C.J. Miles both finished the game with 15 points each. Irving had four assists in the first quarter, and then only had two for the rest of the game. Miles left the game in the third quarter (back spasms) and did not return.
Cleveland’s leading scorer was Dion Waiters, who came off the bench for the third straight game, who scored 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
Chicago was able to get plenty of production out of their bench brigade, who had a very efficient shooting night. Taj Gibson led the bench with 18 points, MarcoBelinelli scored 15 and little Nate Robinson contributed 14 points and seven assists.
The Cavs haven’t beaten the Bulls since March of 2010.
After the rumor that Omri Casspi had asked the team for a trade, he found himself with some playing time.He totaled four points and one assist on 2-of-5 shooting.
Other than the first quarter and Waiters’ 18 points, there is not too much to be proud of. Boozer and Noah, who both recorded double-doubles, dominated Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson down low.
The Cavs will travel back to Cleveland for a home game against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.