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After a pair of frustrating road performances this past week, the Cavaliers came home in a bad mood. And on Wednesday night, they took it out on the Chicago Bulls.
Turning the tables from a rough start on Monday night in Motown, the Wine & Gold jumped all over a listless Chicago squad – jumping out to a 25-point lead early in the second quarter and never looking back – snapping a three-game skid with a 121-105 blowout of the Bulls on Wednesday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
With the one-sided win, the Cavaliers took the season series over the Bulls while giving assistant coach Greg Buckner – who filled in for J.B. Bickerstaff, out with personal reasons – his first career victory in the pilot’s seat.
The Central Division contest featured exactly one tie – at 2-2 – before the Cavaliers stepped on the gas and didn’t let up – ballooning their lead to 33 in the third quarter. Chicago got to within two touchdowns of Cleveland in the final period, but would get no closer.
The Cavaliers also took care of business in their two most difficult quarters this season – tallying 32 points in the opening period and 38 in the third. They also got big nights from their starting backcourt.
Collin Sexton led everyone with 30 points, going 11-for-17 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from deep and 5-of-6 from the stripe, adding a game-high seven assists, three boards and a steal.
Darius Garland was almost as good – adding 25 points on 8-for-13 shooting, canning all four three-pointers and all five free throws he attempted, adding four assists and a pair of steals in the win.
Kevin Love added 15 boards, going 4-of-10 from long-range, adding nine boards and four assists. Jarrett Allen, celebrating his 23rd birthday on Wednesday, also grabbed nine rebounds to go with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Larry Nance Jr. and Isaiah Hartenstein each netted double-figures off the bench. Nance went 4-of-7 from the floor, finishing with 10 points, four boards and a steal. Hartenstein also notched 10 points, going 4-of-6 from the floor to go with six boards.
The Cavs held the Bulls to just a single starter in double-figures – Coby White, who finished with 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting. Lauri Markkanen led Chicago with 16 points off the bench, going 4-for-5 from three-point range in the loss.
Miss any of the action? Find all the highlights and photos in the Game Tracker.
Darius Garland gets loose on the fast break and gets by the Bulls defenders with some great dribbling.
Like the Cavaliers on Monday night, the Bulls got jumped on from the opening tip. Unlike the Cavaliers on Monday, Chicago never made a real run to get back in it.
The Cavaliers took their first double-digit lead of the night late in the first quarter on Isaiah Hartenstein’s layup and when Collin Sexton scored on a layup with 20 seconds left in the period, Cleveland was up 22.
The Bulls got to within a dozen with under a minute to play in the half, but the Wine and Gold bumped their lead back to 20-plus less than three minutes into the second stanza.
By the Numbers - 23.0, 8.3 … Darius Garland’s season scoring and assist averages in three games against Chicago this season, shooting 46 from the floor and 67 percent (12-of-18) from beyond the arc over that stretch.
On Wednesday night, the sophomore from Vandy also became the youngest Cavalier to drill 200 three-pointers – reaching that mark in just 107 career contests.
"At the end of the day, we all watch film, but no matter how much film you watch, no matter how many meetings we have or how much coach screams and yells at us, it’s us out there. And we have to be the ones to do it and do it consistently. If you can do it for a quarter, yeah, you might win that quarter, but there’s three other quarters that you have to go get."
Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and Rafa Hernandez-Brito from Power 89.1.
After a nice one-game stopover to fill the tanks with a convincing win over Chicago – the Wine & Gold get right back on the road, embarking on a three-games-in-four-nights stretch that begins with a Friday night date in Charlotte.
From there, the Cavs travel to the nation’s capital for the first of a back-to-back – taking on Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook and the Wizards on Sunday evening before heading to the Sunshine State for a Monday night meeting with the Raptors.
Cleveland closes out the month of April with a pair at home – welcoming the Magic to town next Wednesday, followed by a visit from the Wizards two nights later.