Garland leads Cavs to victory over the Bulls (Chicago, IL) – Before heading out for a four-game road trip, the Bulls have a chance to gain some momentum tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Chicago has struggled as of late, losing seven of their last 11 games. All seven of those losses were against playoff teams, which Cleveland is not.
The Cavs have also struggled recently, as they have lost six of their last eight games. They also rank last in the NBA in scoring at 104.1 points per game. Their top scorer Collin Sexton averages 24 points per game but he is out with a hamstring injury tonight. Cleveland still has two productive young players in Jarrett Allen(12.9 points and 10 rebounds per game) and Darius Garland(16.4 points and 5.8 assists per game), that the Bulls will have to contain order to win.
LaVine and Markkanen lead Bulls attack in the 1st half
Cleveland rookie Isaac Okoro started the game on fire, making his first three shots from the field. Okoro led the Cavs to a 13-10 lead with 8 minutes left in the 1st quarter. Chicago started off the game slow, with only one assist before they recorded their 5th turnover at the 4.5 minute mark. From that point, the Bulls went on a 13-5 run to tie the score at 25 going into the 2nd. LaVine led Chicago with 10 points in the opening quarter.
The Cavs scored the first four points of the 2nd, but Chicago responded with eight straight points to go up 33-29 with 9 minutes left. Lauri Markkanen later joined LaVine in double digits as his dunk gave him 13 points and tied the game at 39. The two teams went back and forth in the first half, as there was 1 lead change and 4 ties throughout the 1st half. Chicago led 55-53 going into the 2nd half
LaVine and Markkanen combined to score 31 of the Bulls’ 55 1st half points. Unlike the past few games, the Cavs bench outscored the Bulls bench 16-12 in the 1st half as well. Larry Nance Jr led the Cavs with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
Cavs defense, Garland shine in the 3rd
Chicago led 58-55 early in the 3rd, but Cleveland scored 11 of the next 13 points to go up 66-60, with 6 minutes left. Garland got it going in the 3rd for the Cavs, as he scored 10 of his 17 points in the quarter. Cleveland also played great defense on Chicago in the quarter, forcing them to shoot 6/20(30%) from the field. The Cavs led 78-72 going into the 4th.
Cleveland capitalizes on 3rd quarter run, wins the game
Cleveland earned their first double-digit lead in the 4th, behind a 9-0 scoring stretch. This run gave the Cavs a 91-80 advantage with 7 minutes left in the game. Chicago made a final push late to get within single digits, trailing 97-90 with 3.5 minutes remaining. Garland responded with a big three pointer that put the Cavs up 100-90 and the Bulls run stopped there. Cleveland won the game, 103-94.
Darius Garland led the Cavs to this win, as he had 22 points, 9 assists and 4 rebounds. Outside of Garland, four other players scored in double-digits and the team also had 28 assists on the night.
After scoring 31 points in the 1st half, LaVine and Markannen struggled. The two of them only scored 8 points combined in the 2nd half. In addition to that, the Bulls also gave up 56 points in the paint.
The Cavs (17-27) will play their next game against the Lakers (28-16) on Friday at 9:30pm CT.
Chicago (19-24) will return to the court against the Spurs (22-18) on Saturday at 7:30pm CT.