The Cavaliers threw the first punches on Thursday night in the Windy City. But the Bulls – now officially the best regular season team in the NBA – are currently in a different weight class.

The Wine and Gold were within a point at the end of one quarter, but Chicago began pulling away in the second quarter. The young Cavaliers were down a baker’s dozen at intermission and trailed by as many as 22 in the second half – closing out the 2011-12 campaign with a 107-75 loss at the United Center.

On Wednesday night – the final home game of the season – the Cavs officially turned their focus to the future. The starters got most of the night off and D.J. Kennedy, in his first game as a pro, topped the team in minutes and scoring.

Last year, the Cavaliers were entering an entirely new era. This year, they began laying the foundation for a new one.

On Wednesday night, the Cavaliers closed out a pair of this season by looking ahead to the next.

No starter played more than 23 minutes and D.J. Kennedy, in his first appearance as a Cavalier, came off the bench to lead the squad in scoring. While Cleveland’s second unit auditioned for the offseason, Washington’s John Wall went off for 12 points and six assists in the third quarter alone – propelling the Wizards to the 96-85 win over the Wine and Gold on Wednesday night at The Q.

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