Notebook: Cavaliers 101, Bulls 98



Posted Feb 26, 2013 11:50 PM

Kent McDill, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: For the first time in 12 games and almost three years, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated their Central Division rivals the Chicago Bulls 101-98 Tuesday at the United Center. Dion Waiters led the Cavaliers with 25 points, and Shaun Livingston scored 15 points in a starting role. Bulls forward Carlos Boozer had 27 points and Luol Deng had 26, while guard Kirk Hinrich came back after missing three games due to a sore elbow and had 11 points and 11 assists.

THE FACTS II: The Cavaliers played without star point guard Kyrie Irving due to a sore knee, while the Bulls played without backup power forward Taj Gibson who has a sprained MCL. Livingston started in Irving's place. The Bulls have lost seven of their last 10 games.

QUOTABLE I: "We are facing some adversity. You can't get out of this with a singular effort. Teams that can get it done when maybe they are not feeling their best, those are the teams that are having success.''
-- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau

THE STAT: After playing to a 48-48 first half tie, the Bulls shot 57 percent in the second half and still trailed most of the second half and lost the lead for good at the 6:36 mark of the third quarter.

THE STAT II: The Cavaliers made 16 of 19 free throws, had just 10 turnovers and out-rebounded the Bulls 39-34, led by eight boards each from Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller.

THE STAT III: The Bulls had 33 assists on 39 baskets for the game.

TURNING POINT: A 3-pointer by Livingston at the third quarter buzzer gave Cleveland a four-point lead going into the final period, and they raised the lead to nine points with 7:33 remaining. The Bulls cut the lead to one point as Boozer scored eight straight points for the Bulls, but key baskets by Waiters and Luke Walton created space for the Cavaliers. Then Walton came up with the play of the game, stealing a lazy inbounds pass by Boozer with 15 seconds left to secure the win.

QUOTABLE II: "Luke got the game ball. The game wasn't over, and he just keeps playing and playing. He just knows how to win."
-- Cleveland coach Byron Scott, talking about Walton, who had eight points, five rebounds and five assists.

INJURY UPDATE: Irving is listed day-to-day with his sore knee. Gibson is expected to be out for two weeks with his sprained MCL. Although Hinrich played 33 minutes, he is still considered day-to-day with his sore elbow.

HOT: Waiters was 10 for 16 from the field for his 25 points. With Livingston going six for 11, the Cavaliers' starting backcourt was 16 for 27.

QUOTABLE III: "The Bulls have been kicking our butts the last 11 games. As athletes and competitors, that leaves a bad taste in your mouth."
-- Cavaliers forward Luke Walton

BAD MOVE: With Gibson out, the Bulls have little in the way of support for the front line and center Joakim Noah played 41 minutes, Deng played almost 40 and Boozer played 39. Backup center Nazr Mohammed played just six minutes.

ROOKIE WATCH: Besides Waiters' great performance, Tyler Zeller of the Cavaliers played 28 minutes, scored four points and had eight rebounds.

NOTABLE: The Cavaliers are 8-2 in their last 10 games against Eastern Conference opponents. ... The Bulls lost for the first time this season in a game in which they shot at least 50 percent. ... The Cavaliers play their next five games at home. ... The Bulls are just 15-14 at home this season.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, vs. Philadelphia Thursday, vs. Brooklyn Saturday, @ Indiana Sunday. For the Cavaliers, vs. Toronto Wednesday, vs. L.A. Clippers Friday, vs. New York Monday.