Deng, Wallace lead defensive-minded Bulls over Cavs
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Luol Deng scored 18 points, and Ben Wallace
had a 14-point, 19-rebound, seven-block performance as the Chicago Bulls
outlasted the Cleveland Cavaliers, 84-78.
Ben Gordon scored 16 points and grabbed seven boards for the Bulls, who won
their second straight. Kirk Hinrich added 11 points for Chicago, which snapped
a six-game skid at Cleveland.
LeBron James scored 29 points and pulled down seven boards for the Cavs, who
had won two in a row, and five of six entering the game. Larry Hughes finished
with 20 points and eight rebounds for Cleveland.
“I think he played some inspired basketball,” said James of Wallace’s
performance. “Some athletic moves on the offensive end that I haven’t seen
since he was in Detroit.”
A Donyell Marshall three put the Cavs up 71-68 with 6:55 left, but the Bulls
answered with a 14-5 run to take control. A Deng jumper capped the stretch,
posting the Bulls to an 82-73 lead with 1:12 left. James hit a three and a
layup in response, cutting the deficit to 82-78 with 31 seconds left, but
Gordon made two free throws with 13 seconds left to ice the game.
James strapped the Cavs on his back in the third quarter, erasing a 12-point
halftime deficit. James scored the last seven points of a 10-0 run that cut
the Chicago lead to 54-51, and tied the game at 62 on a jumper with 26 seconds
left. James scored 11 in the period, but the Cavs still trailed, 64-62,setting
up the back-and-forth final 12 minutes.
James also tallied 11 points in the first quarter, half of Cleveland’s 22, and
the teams were tied entering the second.
James took a breather midway through the second quarter, and the Bulls took
advantage, ripping off 12 straight points to take the lead. Cleveland only
made four field goals in the period, and was outscored 21-9 as the Bulls took
a 43-31 lead into the break.
Chicago won despite 24 turnovers…The Bulls made only 4-of-13 three-pointers,
while the Cavs made only 4-of-17…Cleveland fell to 20-8 on the year at home.