The Cleveland Cavaliers at home hang on to beat the Chicago Bulls 119-112. The Cavaliers improve to 3-1, and the Bulls fall to 0-4 on the season. LeBron James had a game high 34 points on 13 of 20 from the field, including 13 assists, three steals, and made four three-pointers. Kevin Love posted a double-double with 20 points on 7 of 16 from the field, grabbed 12 rebounds, and sunk three triples in 29 minutes. Jae Crowder scored 11 points on 4 of 10 from the floor, and knocked down three from downtown.
Jeff Green added 16 points on 4 of 6 from the field off the bench. Dwyane Wade dumped in 11 points on 5 of 7 from the field, and dished out four assists off the pine. Kyle Korver accrued 11 points on 4 of 7 from the floor, and nailed three from beyond the arc off the bench. Channing Frye dropped in eight points on a perfect 3 of 3 from the field in seven minutes off the pine. Tristan Thompson put up five points on 2 of 3 from the field, and gathered nine rebounds.
The Cavaliers shot an excellent 51.8 percent from the field, and shot 42 percent on 16 of 38 from three-point territory. The Cavaliers were down 68-65 at halftime, but they went on a 17-7 run to start the second half. The Cavaliers played poorly defensively, but they executed well offensively, and James set up his teammates very well. The biggest issue for the Cavs in the last couple of games has been defending the three-point line. Meanwhile, Derrick Rose did not play due to an ankle injury. The Cavs will play again tomorrow and head to Brooklyn to play against the Brooklyn Nets.
Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said, “Thank God for our bench, but we’ve got to be better — 17 3s again where guys are just looking at us, staring us down and raising for shots. We talked about making the guys put the ball on the floor and we didn’t learn our lesson.”
For the Bulls, Justin Holiday led the way with 25 points on 8 of 17 from the floor, collected four rebounds, and drained four three-pointers. Rookie Lauri Markkanen amassed 19 points on 7 of 12 from the field, pulled down eight rebounds, and buried five three-pointers. Jerian Grant chipped in a double-double with 12 points on 4 of 8 from the field, picked up six rebounds, and gave out 10 assists. Paul Zipser concluded with 11 points on 5 of 11 from the field, to go along with seven rebounds, and four assists. Robin Lopez finished with 11 points on 5 of 8 from the floor, and handed out three assists.
Denzel Valetine compiled 13 points on 5 of 10 from the field, and accumulated four rebounds off the bench. The former Cavalier Kay Felder played a good game off the bench with 13 points on 5 of 11 from the field, and dished out four assists. The Bulls shot 47.7 percent from the field, and shot an incredible 51.5 percent on 17 of 33 behind the three-point line. The Bulls got off to a good start in the first half, but they fall apart in the second half and ended up losing the game by seven points. The Bulls did not play good enough defense to win this game. Meanwhile, Nikola Mirotic was out with a face injury.
Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said about LeBron James, “You’re playing against the best player on the planet.”