On Monday night, Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving faced one another for the first time ever as the Chicago Bulls hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers. The point guards went at each other late in the game, but Rose’s Bulls came out on top with a 96-81 victory.
Right off the bat, Andrew Bynum got going for the Cavaliers scoring their first four points. But it didn’t take long for Chicago to get into a good rhythm. The Bulls stepped up their defense and forced Cleveland out of the paint. The Cavaliers couldn’t connect on their jumpers enough so they trailed by three points going into the second quarter.
Chicago’s defensive presence remained strong. They forced Cleveland into resorting to jump shots and committing turnovers. This would translate into an eight-point Bulls lead that grew to as much as 12 points. However, the Cavaliers went on a little run to end the first half.
Irving made a pair of free throws, and Dion Waiters scored five total points on back-to-back possessions. As a result, Cleveland cut their deficit down to seven points, but right before the half concluded, they made the mistake of leaving Jimmy Butler open.
Butler found himself with the ball and an opening to the basket, so he took advantage of it and finished with a layup that gave the Bulls the 45-36 halftime lead.
The Cavaliers were able to cut the deficit even more after stopping Chicago midway through the third quarter. Deng committed a turnover. Butler had his shot blocked. After that, the Bulls got a timeout, but coming back from it, Boozer also committed a turnover followed by another Butler shot blocked.
Cleveland came within five points to tie the Bulls, but with the momentum they had, it became one point early in the fourth. This was the time both Irving and Rose finally went off. Up to this point in the game, the battle of these point guards wasn’t as exciting as it could have been.
Irving led the way for the Cavaliers, keeping them in the game. Despite his five fouls, Kirk Hinrich came off the bench to finish the game after Rose was limping following a drive. It was classified as a minor right hamstring injury, and he will be looked at again tomorrow.
Chicago really brought their offense to end the game. They had a 32-point fourth quarter, in which Mike Dunleavy scored 10 points. Dunleavy was the lone bench player to score in double figures with 15 points. As for the starters, they all scored in double figures with Boozer leading at 17 followed by Rose with 16.
The Bulls have brought their record up to 3-3, and will be off until Friday, Nov. 15 when they will visit the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre for a 6 p.m. central matchup.