Coming into Saturday’s home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls owned a four-game losing streak. That finally came to an end with a 100-84 win.
Chicago was without Jimmy Butler (ankle sprain), Luol Deng (sore left Achilles) and Kirk Hinrich (back) in the victory. D.J. Augustin, Mike Dunleavy and Tony Snell started in their places.
The Bulls were able to find comfort on both ends of the floor early on. Their offensive efficiency allowed for 33 first quarter points. On the defensive side, the frontcourt did a good job of limiting Cleveland from scoring in the paint.
It was in the second quarter though that the Bulls were able to extend their lead into double digits. With a layup from Taj Gibson and six consecutive points from Nazr Mohammed, Chicago gave the Cavaliers a deficit of 11 points.
Cleveland found opportunities right after that to cut the lead back to six points. However, the Bulls bounced right back to another double-digit lead with their ball movement.
When halftime rolled around, the Bulls were shooting 56.4% and limited the Cavaliers to 38.3% from the field. Chicago had also out-rebounded them 30-11 and got the charity stripe nearly three times as Cleveland did. The result was a 60-43 halftime advantage for the home team.
To open the third quarter, unforced turnovers by the Bulls allowed the Cavaliers to go out on a 7-2 run. Chicago responded to the run quickly with back-to-back buckets from Carlos Boozer, forcing Cleveland to get a timeout. The timeout proved to be very beneficial for the Cavaliers, as it was followed by an 11-2 run in Cleveland’s favor.
Back-to-back threes from Tony Snell gave the Bulls an 81-65 lead heading into the final quarter, but Chicago’s momentum did not carry into the period.
Similar to the third quarter, the Cavaliers went on an 8-2 run to open the fourth. Afterwards, the Bulls wouldn’t allow Cleveland to gain any more momentum. They continued to move the ball well and take what the offense offered to take the win.
Augustin, who didn’t sit until there was 1:36 remaining in the game, was seen holding his hamstring during the fourth quarter, but he seemed to move well afterwards. He also led the Bulls with a double-double of 18 points and 10 assists.
Boozer was the leading scorer for Chicago with 19 points along with nine rebounds for a near double-double. Snell added 17 points of his own, 15 of which came from threes.
The Bulls, now 10-16, will be back in action on Christmas Day for an 11 a.m. central match-up against the Brooklyn Nets.