NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, January 7th (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (8-27) at Chicago Bulls (18-13), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls swept through a Florida swing last week and hope to continue the momentum at home Monday night when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Bulls beat the Miami Heat, 96-89, based on a great performance by Carlos Boozer. The former All-Star forward scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, but he wasn't the only Chicago player with a double-double.
Joakim Noah came back after missing the Magic game with flu-like symptoms and posted 13 points and 12 rebounds. But the center was gushing about his fellow big.
"I thought Carlos played very well, defensively as well," said Noah. "He was very active in the post. That was huge for us."
The Bulls, one of the best defensive teams in the league, held the Heat, one of the best offensive teams in the league, to 46 percent shooting, but only 25 percent from long range.
The Bulls crushed the Heat on the glass to the tune of 48-28.
It is unknown if the newest Chicago player, sharp-shooting forward Daequan Cook, will be in the lineup. He signed with the Bulls on Sunday after he was released by the Rockets.
The Cavaliers head to the Windy City the losers of four of their last five, although the only victory during that stretch was a road win in Charlotte over the Bobcats. Cleveland is 3-1 in its last four away from Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavs lost their last time out, a 112-104 setback, at home, to the Houston Rockets. Houston is the NBA's top-scoring team and the Cavs did well to hold the Rockets to 47 percent shooting.
Cleveland was paced, as always, by Kyrie Irving. He scored 30 points, handed out six assists and had four steals. The problem was, Irving also committed eight turnovers, including three in the final frame, which the Cavs lost 34-26.
"I was just really loose with the ball in terms of my handling tonight," said Irving. "Different plays weren't made and resulted in costly turnovers; turnovers that I usually don't make that cost us the game tonight."
Four other Cavaliers scored in double-digits, led by 18 from Alonzo Gee. Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller, still starting for the injured Anderson Varejao, also posted double figures.
Varejao is expected to practice on Tuesday and may return Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Bulls have won both of this season's matchups, both of which were in Cleveland. Chicago has won 10 in a row against the Cavaliers.
01/07 10:35:34 ET