THE Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from a tough loss after surviving a nailbiter against the surging Chicago Bulls, 115-112, on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
LeBron James led the way with 34 points to get the Cavs (24-9) back on the win track following a slim loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. But they had to battle to the last second to end the Bulls’ seven-game win run.
After trailing by as much as 10 early in the fourth, the Bulls refused to fold and tied the game at 96 with over four minutes to play. But Kyle Korver and Kevin Love answered with huge baskets, scoring nine points combined in a two-minute stretch to give the Cavs some cushion, 105-101.
James hit back-to-back buckets of his own, only to see Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen respond with a four-point play to stay within reach, 109-106, with less than two minutes to play.
Denzel Valentine got the Bulls within one, 113-112, before James made both free throws on the other end to push the lead back up to three with 11 seconds to go.
Dwyane Wade got a block on Kris Dunn’s three-point attempt, and the Cavs held on as Valentine missed on his own try to send the game to overtime.
Love added 27 points, as Korver fired 15 off the bench. Wade and Jeff Green scored 10 apiece.
Markannen led the Bulls with 25 points, while Valentine chipped in 18. Mirotic scored 15 off the bench.
Isaiah Thomas also joined the Cavs in shootaround before the game.