Cavs Fall in the Windy City
Wrap-Up – The Cavaliers have been excellent at protecting The Q this year. But they’re still struggling to reproduce that mojo on the road. On Saturday night, the Wine and Gold fell into an early hole and spent the rest of the night trying to dig their way out. They never did, and the shorthanded Bulls held on for the 100-84 win at the United Center.
Andrew Bynum led five Cavaliers in double-figures, notching 19 points on 9-for-15 shooting. Kyrie Irving followed up with 14 points and five assists. Jarrett Jack came off the bench to net 11 points and Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson pitched in with 10 points apiece.
The Bulls – missing Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler – shot 54 percent from the floor and had 27 assists on 37 makes. They topped Cleveland on the boards, 49-36, and shot an eye-popping 67 percent from beyond the arc.
Turning Point – The Wine and Gold never led on Saturday night, so they only encountered some “almost” turning points. They cut an 11-point lead to four midway through the second quarter, but the Bulls closed the quarter on a 17-4 run. Cleveland made a nice third quarter push to cut Chicago’s lead to seven, but the Bulls closed the period on a 13-4 run to keep the Cavs at bay.
Game Ball – Andrew Bynum – Bynum notched his first double-double- of the season in the Cavs last matchup with the Bulls and was effective again on Saturday night. Bynum played 27 minutes in Saturday’s matchup, adding seven boards and a pair of assists to his 19-point effort. The veteran center scored 11 of his 19 in the third quarter.
By the Numbers – 3.7 … assists per game that Jarrett Jack is averaging off the bench this season, tops among all Eastern Conference reserves. His six helpers led the Wine and Gold on Saturday night.
Quotable – Head Coach Mike Brown, on his team’s defensive lapses on Saturday night…
”They kicked our behind. I thought defensively we didn’t do much correctly in the first half. Our game plan discipline was just not there. Chicago got easy basket after easy basket or went to the free throw line. You have to play with grittiness on the road, share the ball on the road, and play your game plan on the road. We just didn’t do anything defensively that we should have.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers return home to face their third straight Central Division foe when Josh Smith and the Pistons – who’ve recently knocked the Pacers and Heat on the road – come to town on Monday night. The Hawks come to town on the day after Christmas and the Cavaliers travel to Boston for a matchup with the Celtics on Saturday. The high-scoring Warriors come to The Q one week from Sunday.