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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Game 8: Cavs at Bulls

United Center
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Bulls didn't look like a last-place team in my book. They probably won't catch Indiana in the Central Division, but they are a quality team.

Former MVP Derrick Rose, who missed the entire season last year recovering from a torn ACL, has gotten off to a slow start. He was very good on Monday with 16 points and seven assists. He was hurting the Cavs with his dribble penetration - and the Cavs seemed powerless from preventing it from happening.

Rose shot 8 of 21 from the field, not bad considering he came into the game shooting 32 percent from the field.

Rose and Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving faced off for the first time in their careers. Irving had 16 points and four assists. However, he didn't record his first field goal until there was 43 seconds left in the third quarter. In all, he shot a woeful 5 of 19 from the floor.

Rose seemed to tweak his lhamstring in the late going and came out of the game. Hopefully, it's nothing serious. He's such a major talent.

Cavs center Andrew Bynum made his first start with the team. Coach Mike Brown hinted at the move during the morning shootaround. Bynum looked very good with a season-high 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks. 

The Cavs are a different and much better team with the 7-footer on the court. 

The Bulls' leading scorer was power forward Carlos Boozer, who had 17 points and seven rebounds. He came into the game shooting a sizzling 59.7 percent from the floor. The former Cavs standout, who made 7 of 11 shots from the floor, was a handful for Cavs power forward Tristan Thompson.

Thompson has been holding his own with some of the top power forwards in the league, largely because of how hard he plays. Soon, we could be including Thompson being in that lofty status. He certainly wants it.

He finished with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Cavs have lost their first five games on the road this season. The goal is to win 50 percent of its games on the road this season. That's going to be hard to do. They just don't play at the same level on the road as they do at home. They have another rough road game on Wednesday in Minnesota.

The Bulls have been one of the league's top defensive teams under Coach Tom Thibodeau. The Cavs long to attain that level. They held the Cavs to 41.3 percent shooting on Monday. The Bulls shot 41 percent.

The Bulls were 24 of 26 from the foul line for 92.3 percent. None of their starters missed a free throw. The Cavs were 14 of 20.

The game was lost in the fourth quarter when the Bulls outscored the Cavs, 32-21. It was anybody's game heading into the fourth.

The Cavs turned the ball over 20 times, a recipe for disaster against the Bulls.

Coach Mike Brown revamped his rotation. He benched Anthony Bennett altogether, although his shoulder might be bothering him. He also played Henry Sims before he put Tyler Zeller into the game. They both played about 4 minutes.

Also, Earl Clark didn't play for the second consecutive game.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Minnesota at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Target Center.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Luol Deng (6-9, 220)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Carlos Boozer (6-9, 266)
C Andrew Bynum (7-0, 294) vs. Joakim Noah (6-11, 232)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 225) vs. Jimmy Butler (6-7, 220)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Derrick Rose (6-3, 190)
Cavs - F Sergey Karasev, G Carrick Felix
Bulls - N/A
Jason Phillips, Kevin Scott, James Williams


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