Jonesí Flurry of Threes Rallies Cavs Past Bulls
Cleveland 108, Chicago 100
b>CHICAGO, Dec. 22 (Ticker) -- As quick as the release of a 3-pointer by Damon Jones, the Cleveland Cavaliers turned things around.
Jones fueled a fourth-quarter surge with three 3-pointers in 70 seconds as the Cavaliers stormed to their fourth straight win, a 108-100 victory over the slumping Chicago Bulls.
"We just did a 360 from third quarter," James said. "We got some stops in the fourth and we got to the line."
The Cavaliers undid a solid first half with an awful third quarter. They made just 3-of-15 shots and committed six turnovers - one more than they had before halftime - and entered the final period facing a 79-71 deficit.
A basket by Kirk Hinrich gave the Bulls an 81-73 lead with 10:12 to play before the Cavaliers rediscovered their form. Eric Snow made two free throws and James and Ilgauskas added baskets before Jones zeroed in.
The 3-point specialist drained one from the left corner, one from the right wing and another from the left wing in slightly more than a minute, giving Cleveland the lead for good at 89-81 with 7:07 remaining and silencing the United Center.
"When I can make shots like that it's always fun, because then I get to dance," Jones said. "After that we just stepped it up on defense and that was the game."
"Jones is in a great situation there," Bulls guard Chris Duhon said. "He knows guys will be focusing on LeBron in that situation, so he gets open looks."
Chicago got no closer than six points thereafter. Jones delivered the dagger with another 3-pointer from the right corner for a 102-89 advantage with 2:53 to go.
"That's Damon. He's a shooter," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "I just have to make sure I never discourage him from shooting the ball when he has a shot."
Jones scored 15 points, all on 3-pointers. He picked up the slack for guard Larry Hughes, the team's second-leading scorer who returned after attending to a family matter Wednesday and managed nine points.
James eclipsed 30 points for the 15th time this season as he led the team for the 10th straight game. However, he scored just six points in the fourth quarter, when Snow also contributed six and Ilgauskas tallied 10.
"Other guys are stepping up, which is why I can play so freely," James said. "I am now doing what I want to do on the court. We have guys hitting the open shot and spreading the other team's defense."
"In the fourth we finally got some stops defensively," Jones said. "We got out on transition and made some easy baskets. You can do that when you share the ball."
Ben Gordon scored 22 points and Andres Nocioni added 21 and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who have lost seven of 11 overall. They shot 21 3-pointers and just 10 free throws.
"We are getting every team's best shot and not giving ours," Duhon said. "Night in and night out, we don't know what Chicago Bulls team is going to show up - the horrible team, the mediocre team or the good team. Until we some consistency, it's going to be a tough season."