Game 33: Cavs at Bulls
at United Center
RADIO/TV: WTAM/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: Despite missing three starters, the Cavs put up a spirited fight against the Central Division-leading Bulls.
The Cavs have lost six in a row, 16 of the last 17 overall, and 14 in a row on the road. They just finished off a 1-14 month of December. Will January be any better? Maybe not.
Center Anderson Varejao didn't even make the trip to the Windy City. He broke a bone in his cheek.
The Cavs' starting backcourt - Mo Williams (left hip flexor) and Daniel Gibson (left thigh contusion) - was also on the sidelines.
They ran into the red-hot Bulls, who have won 13 of their last 15 games. That has occurred despite the right hand/thumb injury to starting center Joakim Noah.
The Bulls have stuck 38-year-old Kurt Thomas into the starting lineup, and they haven't missed a beat.
The Cavs might have won Saturday's game had it not been outscored, 32-9, in the third quarter.
They also kept it close in the first meeting with the Bulls on Dec. 8, but point guard Derrick Rose took over late and guided his team to an 88-83 win. He finished with 29 points and eight assists.
He had a game-high 28 points and 11 assists on Saturday. The Bulls also got 23 points from Luol Deng and 20 points and 11 rebounds from former Cavs forward Carlos Boozer.
For the Cavs, forward J.J. Hickson had his best game in a month with 21 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. He made 9 of 16 from the field.
He's starting to make a stand for more playing time. In his last four games, he’s averaging 13.3 points and 6.7 rebounds and shooting 51.2 percent from the field (22 of 43).
In the fourth quarter, Coach Byron Scott allowed Anthony Parker to run the point. He had a team-high eight assists. He just couldn't make a shot. He was 3 of 14 from the field, 1 of 6 from behind the arc.
If he could have made a couple shots in the fourth quarter, the Cavs might have won the game.
SF Anthony Parker (6-6, 210) vs. Luol Deng (6-9, 220)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Carlos Boozer (6-9, 266)
C Leon Powe (6-8, 240) vs. Kurt Thomas (6-9, 230)
SG Manny Harris (6-5, 185) vs. Keith Bogans (6-5, 215)
PG Ramon Sessions (6-3, 190) vs. Derrick Rose (6-3, 190)
Cavs – G Christian Eyenga, C Anderson Varejao, F Joey Graham.
Bulls – C Joakim Noah, G John Lucas.
Marc Davis, Pat Fraher, Derek Richardson