Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
Bulls outplayed in Cleveland
Series tied 1-1
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.
By Sam Smith | 5.6.2015 | 8:32 p.m.
LeBron James was too much for the Bulls Wednesday as the Cleveland Cavaliers evened the conference semifinals 1-1 with a 106-91 victory over the Bulls.
The Cavs dominated from the start and never trailed, running up big leads all game until the Bulls emptied their bench in the fourth quarter.
Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 18 points, but on five of 14 shooting. Derrick Rose had 14 points 10 assists and seven rebounds, but shot six of 20. The Cavs got 33 points from LeBron James and 21 from Kyrie Irving. But crucial was 12 of 26 on threes and a 45-37 rebounding edge.
The Cavs exploded out on the Bulls to start with a 24-6 lead, particularly with Iman Shumpert making threes. The Bulls were careless with the ball with seven first quarter turnovers the Cavs turned into 13 points and a massive 38-18 lead after the first quarter. The Cavs continued their domination into the second quarter behind James, who had 22 points in the first half on nine of 18 shooting. But mostly the Cavs made nine of 15 threes to spread out the Bulls and take a 64-45 halftime lead. The Bulls finally came to the game after halftime with a 14-0 run that cut the Cavs lead to 72-61, making it a game. For awhile. James then pushed the ball at the Bulls and the Cavs went into the fourth quarter leading 87-71 as James had 30.
1. Much will be made this game about LeBron James returning to wear his headband, much like Michael Jordan went back to wearing No. 23 in his 1995 return after a conference semifinals Game 1 loss in Orlando when it was said 45 wasn’t like 23. It’s the headband.
2. Though the Cavs have LeBron James, a lot of the way they play is not unlike Houston and Golden State profiting on threes. The Bulls too often to open the game lost the three-point shooters with quick Cavs ball movement
3. The Bulls again let Tristan Thompson, in the starting lineup, outplay them physically and get to offensive rebounds with 10 rebounds, five offensive through three quarters while the Bulls had a total of eight through three quarters. Thompson ended with a game high 12 rebounds.