Cleveland Cavaliers lose to Chicago Bulls 92 to 79
By JAMES W. WADE III
The Cleveland Cavaliers was without their number one pick rookie Kyrie Irving Friday night in the loss to the Chicago Bulls 112 to 91. The Bulls have had a difficult time putting away lesser opponents lately, and the bad habit nearly jumped up and bit them again at Quicken Loans Arena.
Derrick Rose scored 24 points, leading the Bulls to a victory that extended the Cleveland Cavaliers' losing streak to 16 games. Cleveland (8-35) has also lost 20 straight on the road, one shy of the franchise record. The Cavs last won away from Quicken Loans Arena on Nov. 9, with a 93-91 victory over New Jersey. They haven't won anywhere since a home win over the Knicks on Dec. 18.
Even though it turned out to be another Cleveland loss, Coach Byron Scott was pleased by his team's effort -- to a degree.
"Those guys in there are disappointed," Scott said. "I'm very pleased with the way we played. We played with heart. "But as much as we needed to play as hard as we did tonight, it's still nothing. You still lose the ballgame."
In their first meeting, Derrick Rose didn’t play and the Bulls beat up the Cavaliers at The Q. In the second, Kyrie Irving didn’t play and the Bulls beat up the Cavaliers at The Q.
There’s a theme developing between the Central Division rivals, and it hasn’t been a good one for the Wine and Gold.
The Cavaliers hung with Chicago through one quarter on Friday night, but the next 36 minutes belonged to the Bulls, and they didn’t look back – handing Cleveland its fourth straight loss, 112-91, on Friday night.
Friday night’s lopsided loss wasn’t as bad as the 39-point drubbing administered by the Bulls on January 20, but it wasn’t the Cavs best effort, either. Chicago shot 53 percent from the floor, including 50 percent from beyond the arc. They topped the Cavaliers on the boards, in the paint and on the break. The Bulls turned 16 Cavalier turnovers into 25 points.
“When you play against a team as good as they are, and they are definitely one of the best teams in the league, you can’t have the unforced turnovers that we had,” said Coach Scott. “You can’t make the defensive mistakes that we made, some of the lapses that we had defensively. That kills us.”
In their defense, the Wine and Gold were without their leading scorer, rookie Kyrie Irving, who was ill and was scratched not long before tip-off. Ramon Sessions stepped in admirably and finished with 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting while adding seven assists.
Antawn Jamison led Cleveland with 22 points on 8-for-17 shooting and Tristan Thompson led the Cavaliers with a team-high 11 boards off the bench. Daniel Gibson netted eight points and seven helpers, going 2-for-4 from long-distance in the fourth quarter.
On Jan. 20, they beat the Cavaliers by 39 despite not having Rose, who was sidelined with a sore toe.
This time, Chicago didn't begin pulling away until midway through the third, when Rose turned his game up a notch and the Bulls followed their fearless leader.
Driving to the basket whenever he felt the need, Rose scored 10 points and added six assists in the third, when the Bulls scored 38 and ended any lingering suspense. The Cavs had no one to challenge Rose, who powered his way inside, drew body contact and converted a three-point play to make it 89-66.
Deng's 3-pointer with 11 seconds to go put the Bulls ahead 94-70, causing many Cleveland fans to grab their jackets and head toward the exits.
Rose, Boozer and fellow starters Joakim Noah and Richard Hamilton didn't even have to play in the fourth as Chicago's backups also controlled the Cavs.
Not feeling well, Irving stayed home from the morning shoot around. He arrived at Quicken Loans Arena several hours before tip-off and shot around on the floor before doctors decided to have him take the night off.
Cavs coach Byron Scott said the 19-year-old picked up "a bug" during All-Star weekend in Orlando "that finally caught up with him."
Irving's illness prevented him from matching skills with Rose for the second time. It's possible they won't face each other at all this season. Cleveland visits Chicago in the regular-season finale, but Rose will only play if that game has any impact on the playoff seedings.
It was the earlier days when Michael Jordon and Scottie Pippen would play the Cavs, no matter how hard Craig Ehlo and Larry Nance checked them, and they somehow still scored.