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Bulls fall to Cavs in Cleveland

Bulls fall to 27-16 on the season

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By Sam Smith | 1.19.2015 | 8:57 p.m. CT

The Cleveland Cavaliers dominated a lethargic and mistake prone Bulls team Thursday in an easy 108-94 victory.

The loss, the fading Bulls sixth in their last eight games, dropped the Bulls record to 27-16 with the defending champion Spurs in the United Center Thursday. The Cavs moved to 22-20 and four and a half games behind the Bulls for the Central Division lead and with a 2-0 season series lead.

The Bulls were led by Jimmy Butler with 20 points and Derrick Rose with 18. LeBron James had 26 points and J.R. Smith 20. The Cavs had a 54-40 rebounding edge with Timofey Mozgov 15 points and 15 rebounds and Kevin Love 16 points and 12 rebounds.

It was another poor start for the Bulls who shot 28 percent in the first quarter and were outrebounded 19-11, fortunate to trail just 24-19 after one quarter. The second quarter didn’t go much better for the Bulls as first E’Twaun Moore and Nikola Mirotic both were yanked quickly after defensive mistakes and lack of hustle. Rose and Butler were a combined three for 17 in the half while James finally got going after consecutive air balls and the Cavs took a 54-39 halftime lead. The Cavs opened the third quarter with a 10-2 run behind Kevin Love and J.R. Smith threes to take a 64-41 lead in one of the Bulls more lackadaisical performances in years. Rose rallied the Bulls with a trio of three pointers while Jimmy Butler continued to a commendable defensive job on LeBron James, who went out with a fourth foul on a charge drawn by Butler. But the Bulls’ ineffectiveness continued as the Cavaliers took an 84-62 lead into the fourth quarter. The Bulls made one fourth quarter run to get within 90-78, but the Cavs then scored seven straight to effective end the Bulls chances.

Observations:

1. The Bulls offense continues to look stuck in molasses as there is considerable standing around watching isolation plays as the defense loads up on with little ball movement.

2. The Bulls were being crushed on the boards. Tristan Thompson had an amazing dozen offensive rebounds against the Bulls in October and had six offensive by halftime.

3. The Bulls shooting continued to be poor with Butler six for 16 and Rose five for 14.