NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 21st
(All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (10-15) at Chicago Bulls (9-16), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls hope a return home will get them back
in the win column Saturday night when they welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers to
the United Center.
The Bulls just dropped two straight on a short road trip, but that's not the
worst of it. Chicago is riding a four-game slide, has dropped seven of eight
and 13 of 16.
The Bulls are just 2-8 in December and have lost four consecutive home games
to the likes of the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and
Orlando Magic. Their last win at the United Center came on Dec. 5 when they
clobbered the Miami Heat by 20.
Against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday, the Bulls fell, 107-95. They
are of course without Derrick Rose, but Luol Deng (Achilles), Kirk Hinrich
(back) and Jimmy Butler (toe) all missed the game. None are expected to play
"Chicago's a city that deals with a lot of adversity," said Joakim Noah. "I
think that we're dealing with a lot of adversity. We just got to go out there
and fight. That's the nature of this city."
Noah led the way against OKC with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Taj Gibson added
16 off the bench and newly-signed D.J. Augustin chipped in 15. Carlos Boozer,
Mike Dunleavy and Tony Snell also scored in double figures.
The Bulls rank in the top five in opponents' scoring and field-goal
percentage, but are 28th in scoring and 29th in their own field-goal
The Cavs snapped a two-game slide on Friday night with a 114-110 home overtime
victory over the Bucks.
Tristan Thompson tipped in a Kyrie Irving miss with 1.8 seconds left to force
overtime, then Irving took over in the extra session.
"Kyrie (Irving) got to the basket, down the right side of the floor, went up,
missed the layup that he usually makes; acrobatic in the air, but he attacked
the glass and I was able to squeeze the ball into the rim," Thompson said of
his game-tying tip-in.
With the Bucks down three in overtime, Milwaukee's O.J. Mayo missed two 3-
point attempts to secure the victory for the Cavs.
Irving finished with 39 points on 13-for-25 shooting. Jarrett Jack chipped in
17 off the bench, while C.J. Miles netted 15. Earl Clark added 14 and Thompson
clocked in a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds.
Dion Waiters missed the game due with a sore wrist and his availability for
Saturday is unknown, although it's expected he will sit.
The teams have split both matchups this season, but Chicago has won 11 of the
last 13 meetings. The Bulls are 6-1 in their last seven at home in the regular
season against the Cavs.
12/21 10:59:57 ET
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