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Wrap-Up – On Saturday, the struggling Wine and Gold got exactly what the doctor ordered, snapping a five-game skein in dramatic fashion – topping Chicago, 97-93, behind a total team effort at The Q.
The Cavaliers got big efforts from several players, but none bigger than big man Andrew Bynum, who had his best game as a Cavalier – finishing with 20 points, 10 boards, five blocked shots and three assists. Tristan Thompson also doubled-up with 14 points and 14 boards in the win. Dion Waiters went 8-for-10 from the floor to notch 20 points off the bench and Kyrie Irving rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 19 points on 7-for-21 shooting, adding a team-high six assists and a pair of steals.
The Cavaliers led by 14 points early in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls used a 20-5 run to re-take the lead late in the fourth. But Waiters scored two big baskets to stem the tide and Chicago missed three straight shots at point blank range in the final ten seconds of the contest.
Luol Deng led all scorers with 27 points and Bulls rookie Tony Snell added a career-high 18 points. Both teams shot 47 percent on the night in a game that featured nine ties and eight lead changes.
Turning Point – The Cavaliers came out of the halftime locker room on a mission – extending a five-point lead to 15 with a 15-5 run to start the period. Andrew Bynum keyed Cleveland’s stretch – netting two of his five blocked shots and canning a pair of jumpers. In between, it was C.J. Miles – in his first action since Nov. 20 – canning a pair of three-pointers to extend their edge.
Game Ball – Tristan Thompson – As much as any Cavalier, Thompson needed to get back on track. After netting double-figure scoring and rebounding only once in his last five outings, the third-year forward did both on Saturday – doubling up for the eighth time this season and the 48th time in his young career. Tristan was 4-of-7 from the floor and 6-of-8 from the stripe and added a pair of assists.
By the Numbers – 21.3 … points Dion Waiters is averaging in his last three games off the bench. For the season, Waiters is averaging 16.8 ppg in a reserve role.
Quotable – Andrew Bynum, on starting to feel more like himself on the floor…
”It’s actually good to jump and see that it wasn’t too bad on the landing. I think, more so than anything, it’s about getting more and more minutes and getting out on the floor and getting my touch back.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers stay in town, playing consecutive games at The Q for the first time all season when they welcome the Denver Nuggets to town on Wednesday night. On Friday, it’s back on the road for the Wine and Gold, making the trip to Atlanta to face the Hawks, one of just three teams in the Eastern Conference with a winning record. The Cavs return to Cleveland the following night, where they’ll welcome Blake Griffin and the high-flying Clippers to The Q on Saturday night.
Watch Highlights: Cavs 97, Bulls 93